Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha has commended the passing of tobacco control bill which is now an Act saying it would help to boost tobacco industry in the country.
The Act is set to protect tobacco growers at the markets and is also enables them to know the prices which they will sell their tobacco before signing the contract for tobacco market, the act is also not allowing tobacco buyers to grow tobacco hence they should remain buyers.
Mwanamvekha told Malawi News Agency (Mana) in an interview in Lilongwe that, the bill has been passed in right time as tobacco farmers were struggling to sell their produce.
“I am excited that the tobacco control bill has passed since our tobacco farmers were been facing challenges during the signing of contracts for selling their tobacco.
For example most of the farmers were signing contract without knowing the terms and conditions of the contract as a result farmers were being reaped off,” he pointed out.
Mwanamvekha added that the Act would improve the income of the farmers saying that the Act is mandating only tobacco farmers to grow tobacco and this will increase the demand of tobacco at the market hence will raise its prices.
The Minister said that, the passing of tobacco control is affirmative development towards the tobacco industry in the country and he said that it would help to reduce poverty among tobacco farmers in the country.
“The passing of tobacco control bill is positive achievement towards our tobacco industry since is giving more powers to Tobacco Control Commission to control the prices of tobacco at the market.
I believe this will reduce poverty among the farmers as they will be selling their tobacco at a better price,” he said.
Legal Affairs Committee Chairperson in Parliament, Maxwell Thyolera said that the new law for tobacco control would be regulating all transactions needed for tobacco selling so that the farmers should earn what they invested after selling the tobacco.