The Tobacco Commission (TC) has announced the extension of tobacco farmers’ registration and licencing exercise to October 31, 2023.
The exercise was supposed to close on September 30, 2031.
TC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Chidanti Malunga told Journalists in Lilongwe on Friday during an interface meeting with the Media Network on Tobacco (MNT) that various stakeholders and growers have requested for an extension to give them more time register and licence for the crop.
“We have decided to extend the exercise by one month giving enough period to them without charging any fee or penalty to them,” he said.
Malunga said they want to produce as much crop as possible because there are many traditional and international buyers who want more volumes of tobacco.
He further said that they expect that the extension will enable more farmers produce tobacco legally as it is illegal for anyone in Malawi to grow the leaf without license.
Malawi also said that with more farmers getting licenced to grow this year, saying they are assured of great progress towards attaining an annual production of 200million kilograms by 2028.
MNT Chairperson, Alfred Chauwa, commended TC for engaging journalists on current trends in the tobacco industry.
“We need more of such interface meetings so that there are more stories coming out from the industry,” he said.
Chauwa therefore urged Journalists in the network for accuracy reporting in tobacco issues.
Tobacco is the country’s major forex earner and a strategic crop for Malawi.