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