Malawi: Tobacco Industry Still Vibrant, Only Rules Have Changed – Chidanti Malunga

Tobacco Commission (TC) chief executive officer, Dr. Joseph Chidanti Malunga, has dispelled fears that the tobacco industry could face natural death as the West pushes for the anti-smoking lobby and other campaigns.

Malunga made the sentiments Saturday in the capital Lilongwe during an interface meeting with members of the Media Network on Tobacco (MNT), which is a grouping of like-minded journalists with a passion to disseminate correct information about the tobacco value chain in Malawi.

Malawi is largely dependent on agriculture with tobacco as the main cash crop and foreign exchange earner.

However, the growing global anti-smoking campaign, which has resulted in local calls for crop diversification in order to replace tobacco, has brought about uncertainty over the future of the crop in the country.

But Malunga emphasized that the industry remains vibrant and the most reliable contributor the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

He said there are some individuals who are churning ‘organized misinformation aimed at frustrating the ever growing tobacco industry in the country’.

Malunga assured growers and the citizenry that they should expect ‘even much improved production and prices of the crop in the future seasons’.

“The truth of the matter is that no any other crop in Malawi can replace tobacco at the moment, even in the very distant future,” he challenged, adding that those advocating for the replacement of tobacco have an evil agenda and merely want to mislead people.