Following an election that took place in New Delhi, India on 21st September 2016 at the International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA) Annual General Meeting, Mr. Reuben Maigwa, the incumbent President of the Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) has been elected as the Vice President of the ITGA.

The development does not only put Malawi on the world map but also shows how the world recognizes the contribution the country makes in matters concerning tobacco. The significance of the development also resides in the transitional process of potentially ascending to the ITGA Presidency after serving two terms of two years each with respect to the global body’s constitution.

The ITGA is a non-profit organisation co-founded by TAMA in 1984 with the objective of presenting the cause of millions of tobacco farmers to the world. It is run by a Board of Directors, comprised of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and the Secretariat headquartered in Portugal, is headed by a Chief Executive who, together, strive to provide a strong collective voice on an international and national scale to ensure the long-term security of tobacco markets.

Tobacco growers all over the world share similar problems, threats and challenges, regardless of the size of their production. It is for this reason that the ITGA defends that every tobacco farmer, regardless of the size of the land he cultivates and the volume of tobacco he produces, has the right to be represented internationally, so as to ensure that the intricacies of and challenges to his activity are justly considered by international decision-makers.

For the ITGA, empowerment is the key-word; ITGA policies and activities are developed by tobacco farmers, represented by their countries' bonafide, accredited and professionally grower-run tobacco associations, or national tobacco institutes, to further their own interests. Thus, tobacco growers all over the world are given the opportunity to voice their concerns in unison.

Since 1984, when the ITGA came into being, TAMA has been an influential member of the global organisation and has been instrumental in fighting for the interests of Malawi’s tobacco farmers, being mindful of the fact that Malawi is the largest exporter of Burley tobacco in the world.

Prior to 1984, tobacco growers world-wide had no unified voice. This changed on November 26th of that year when farmers from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Malawi, the U.S.A. and Zimbabwe agreed to form an organisation to promote and develop their common interests throughout the world. From that agreement emerged the International Tobacco Growers' Association (ITGA).

To Malawi this is a great opportunity for tobacco producers and the nation to globalize the national challenges for a possible global effort to help in mitigating them.

Congratulations to Mr. Reuben Maigwa! Congratulations TAMA! Congratulations Malawi. Congratulations to all Malawi tobacco farmers who are encouraged to join TAMA for a unified global voice.

Together we can! Divided we fall!


Following the election of Councilor Abiel Masache Kalima Banda into the Office of the Association's Presidency, and as per the International Tobacco Groers Association (ITGA) Mr. Maigwa ceases to be the ITGA Vice Presidency as the former takes over with effect from March 2017 going forward.