We at The Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) believe that the success of the tobacco industry lies in the concerted efforts of all the stakeholders in the industry. Specifically, the farmer plays a vital role to ensure that he/she produces his/her tobacco for sale.
This takes the farmer on a path of defined value chain from the point of production to the point of sale (market). This is why TAMA provides appropriate services to its members to ensure an efficient value chain in order to sustain their business for continuity to keep the tradition going.
TAMA is also a founding member of the International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA), a grouping of rational tobacco associations based in Lisbon Portugal that defends tobacco growers interests at the grobal level.
To provide visible and compelling services to the grower members and perpetuate sustainable balance in the generation of wealth in a manner that ascertains wider income diversification and value.
To be the most effective and successful Association in the representation of grower member interests in as far as the promotion of tobacco production and marketing is concerned.
HOW TO BECOME A TAMA MEMBER
In the first place, TAMA membership is voluntary and is renewed annually. A tobacco grower whether small scale or corporate, registers with the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) for a following year's production.
The TCC registration form asks the grower to indicate an association to which he/she belongs to by way of filling the space. It is at that point when one writes TAMA as his or her Association that they become a member. Through the TCC data TAMA is able to trace its membership, which stands to benfit from all its services ranging from advocacy to tobacco sales representation in the floors.
Tobacco production is not easy but they are other unscrupulous individuals and groups of people who just want to reap heavily ignoring the producer. This is the time TAMA comes in to aid so that the producer earns what he or she deserves through a win-win protocol.
All growers are encouraged to register with TCC and endorse TAMA as their Association. Members of the association benefit from th association's services on both local and international fronts.
MALAWI CELEBRATES 2015 WORLD TOBACCO GROWERS’ DAY
Malawi tobacco growers celebrated the 2015 World Tobacco Growers’ Day on 28th October at Liwonde Community Ground in the Southern District of Machinga.
Growers came from Machinga, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Balaka, Zomba and Phalombe districts to represent all tobacco growers in Malawi. They presented one voice to the world that they are proud to be tobacco growers and that tobacco is part of them. They displayed various messages in support of the crop on placards as they moved in a carnival along the main road of the Liwonde Town for a distance of about 3 Km, depicting the success stories tobacco has brought into their lives. This year’s theme was-Tobacco: Key Source of Livelihood for Many.
The growers were joined by the rest of the tobacco institutions, the banking sector, government institutions, etc.
Speaking during the event on behalf of tobacco growers, Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) President Mr. Reuben Maigwa reminded the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development of a humble request the growers made last year in Mzuzu, requesting Government, to allow this day, 28th October to be officially recognized in Malawi as a World Tobacco Growers’ Day.
Mr. Maigwa further asked Government to continue with its strong support to the industry and reject all unrealistic proposals that the Frame Work Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is propagating. “We reject all FCTC articles that would have a negative impact on the people of this country. We, however, still feel that it is important as a country to ratify the FCTC protocol. It would assist us to fight from within the FCTC other than fighting from outside,” said Maigwa.
The Controller of Agricultural institutions Mr. Nyandule Phiri, who was the Guest of Honour, said that his Office was keenly following the developments taking place. “I can report that to have this day recognized is work in progress as we are talking,” said Nyandule. He encouraged growers to conform to the trade requirements and avoid over producing the leaf so as to realize improved prices
MALAWI HOSTS THE 2015 ITGA AFRICA REGIONAL SUMMIT
This year’s Africa Regional Meeting for the International Tobacco Growers Association took place at the Sogecoa Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi. The official opening was by the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Honourable Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza, MP.
The ITGA President Francois Van der Merwe encouraged tobacco growers and all stakeholders not to get worried with the arguments being made by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), as it is just their bread and batter to be negative about tobacco. “Do not be negative about tobacco. These people get their money out of speaking against tobacco and nothing else,” he said.
He however, hinted that due to global over production of the crop, prices have been compromised around the world. For this reason he advised tobacco growing countries to ensure controlling the production levels. He further encouraged member countries to ensure diversifying so that growers should always have a complimentary crop at a time when tobacco may not be profitable.
Presenting the activities of ITGA, The Chief Executive Officer for the ITGA Mr. Antonio Abrunhosa advised the participating countries to join the Asian friends who have vehemently protested the efforts of France to impose and implement the plain packaging for cigarettes.
The ITGA summit gathered together delegates from Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and hosts- Malawi
ITGA Delegates posing for a group photo with the Minister (c) front line