Japanese Tobacco International (JTI) on Thursday celebrated the 10 years of its existence in Malawi.
Speaking on the celebration, Corporate Affairs and Communications Director Limbani Kakhome on Thursday said that this year’s marketing season went well as the company’s growers sold their tobacco without delay.
Kakhome said rejection rates were low and the company’s growers sold their tobacco faster.
He added that JTI made a decision to directly contract growers so as to secure a sustainable supply of quality leaf which has seen the company establishing leaf growing, buying and processing operations.
“The long term relationship we have with our growers allows our agronomists to observe and help improve labor and safety practices on the farm and other social issues affecting growing communities such as education, health and sanitation,” he explained.
Kakhome went on to say that they have been improving the lives of their growers by providing piped water, planting trees, establishing 15 clinics, building school blocks and discouraging child labor through a program called Arise among others.
In his remarks, Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) Manager Tony Jamail commented JTI for the improvement saying in this year’s tobacco market no grower had low quality tobacco and that there was an average marketing price.
He then encouraged JTI to continue improving in the tobacco marketing and establish a platform where every farmer can be selling their tobacco to the company without being at contract with the company.
JTI buys tobacco from its contract farmers and manufactures cigarettes.