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.
29TH CONGRESS OCNQUERS CHILD LABOUR
The Association held its 29th Annual Congress on 27 June 2017under the theme “NO TO CHILD LABOUR YES TO EDUCATION FOR PROGRESSIVE TOBACCO FARMING” at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe. Unpacking the theme was Wangui Irimu, the Chief Technical Advisor on Child Labour issues to Malawi as guest speaker.
The Guest speaker relieved the delegates most of whom were farmers when she explained what it means by Child Labour. The Delegates showed interest to tackle issues of Child Labour seriously with the knowledge obtained during the Congress.
The Congress that was graced by Hon. Aggrey Masi, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development who iterated Government’s position to supporting the tobacco industry.
TAMA through its President Mr. Abiel Kalima Banda asked government to consider initiating a farmers’ Day to recognize the role farmers play in the country apart from reminding the government of its commitment it made years ago to establish an Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) with an aim to offer soft loans to farmers. The Honorable Deputy Minister said that the development on establishing the bank but not necessarily an ADB is in pipeline already. He said government granted a go ahead to establish an Agricultural Cooperative Bank and that funds are available.
MALAWI ATTENDS THE 2017 ITGA AFRICA REGION INDABA
Tobacco Association of Malawi attended the 51st meeting of the International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA) Africa Region on 13th and 14th June, 2017, in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania at the Ramada Hotel.
Malawi through TAMA was among the seven countries which participated namely: Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, America, Portugal (ITGA Secretariat and the host Tanzania.
During the opening session, the ITGA President Mr. Daniel Green (who was visiting Africa for the first time), encouraged members to take matters of tobacco growing as a big concern. Green said that tobacco issues across the globe were of similar in nature, and he asked for the strong need for member countries to continue working together for the sake of protecting millions of people whose livelihoods depend on this legal crop.
The President emphasized that the issues of tobacco must be discussed with the presence of the ITGA members, and not without them, as is being advocated by the FCTC through article 5.3. He also faulted some recent reports by UNDP and WHO which accused the tobacco industry for the world environmental degradation. He said that it was very insulting as there are many factors that are affecting environmental degradation.
According to Daniel Green, total global cigarette consumption continues to decline. He said that the 2015 statistics indicated a decline by 1.80%, while the recent decline range is 2 to 3%. He reported that China has 46% of the world consumption, and declined by 2% in 2015. He highlighted that any major negative shift to China consumption would affect the world tobacco situation. He told the meeting that top world cigarette markets are China, Russia, USA, Indonesia, Japan, Turkey, Philippines, India, Germany and Egypt.
As per Green’s report, around 5.6 trillion cigarettes are manufactured per year, and global market value is still big at around USD 700 billion. Value for the illicit trade is around 11%.
Green also reported that production is 4,000 million Kg flue cured Virginia (50% produced in China) and 600 million Kg burley (decline from 900 million Kg).
He said that Burley has been having inventories over the years, but now it is declining. Malawi burley was noted to have gone down than normal. (Well known for its filler burley type).
He was quick to suggest that the future demand could be affected by tobacco regulations by FCTC, FDA, EU, alternative tobacco products, public health approaches, and increase in illicit trade, among other issues.
Malawi’s report gave a briefing on tobacco production demography, production estimates, tobacco market progress, and registration for 2016/2017, and a briefing on World Tobacco Growers Day conducted in 2016.
The meeting coincided with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)’s Subcommittee (Working Group) meeting on Articles 17 and 18. The delegates then came up with a declaration that basically indicated willingness of the members to work with the WHO and any other body in issues concerning tobacco, and continue to ask their respective governments to keep on giving support to the livelihoods of millions of tobacco farmers and to assist in the quest for growers’ representation in any discussion on tobacco.
On the sideline of this meeting, there was a caucus of some ITGA members and tobacco merchants to discuss a suggestion from the COMESA Business Council (CBC) Agro – Industry Dialogue held in Nairobi, Kenya. The concept was to come up with a “Tobacco Working Group” as a front to look into production and marketing of non-tobacco crops and also to work with COMESA on market information sharing that would assist COMESA to convince WHO that they allow Tobacco Representatives to have an observer status during FCTC meetings, starting with the CoP 8.
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