Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Leaf Malawi has released MKW581 million ($739,381) of collateral to its contracted growers to assist them during the lean farming season and help them cope with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Malawi24.
The growers paid the money to JTI at the beginning of the farming season as security to enter into contracts with the company.
JTI Leaf Malawi Corporate Affairs and Communications Director Limbani Kakhome said that this money is given back to the growers to help with their day-to-day livelihood needs as well as production costs.
He added that tobacco production is quite involving financially and therefore the company feels duty bound to help its growers meet production demands to come up with top quality tobacco.
“This is the more reason why for more than four years we have been undertaking this program. We give out the funds between January and February because around this time, there are just many activities that require money.
“Over the years, the quality index of tobacco produced by our growers when compared with quality from other countries has been growing steadily. This is attributed not only to the quality of extension services we provide to growers but also to other programs like this,” he explained.
A total of 8,000 growers have received money through the initiative.
Tobacco Reporter covered the Malawi market in-depth in its June 2017 issue. (See “On the Map.”)