Minister of Agriculture Irrigation and water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa on Tuesday announced the suspension of fines and penalties imposed on tobacco farmers in the new Tobacco Law.
Nankhumwa made the announcement when he visited Tobacco Commission head offices at Kanengo in Lilongwe to appreciate a number of developments taking place at the Commission.
He said government has heard complaints on 75 percent penalty deductions which farmers have been subjected to in the new Tobacco Industry Law.
“As government we have decided that from today we suspend the fines,” said Nankhumwa.
He said tobacco industry is facing challenges following the new act which came into force while farmers had already grown their tobacco.
“From now we will go flat out to sensitize farmers on the new tobacco law,” he said.
He said government is not suspending the whole act but there are some sections which needs amendment.
Nankhumwa said government do not want to infringe on the rights of tobacco farmers.
Meanwhile, Nankhumwa has hinted that government will refund the money deducted from farmers in form of fines.
During the visit, Nankhumwa toured the premises to understand how the thugs’ petrol bombed the TC vehicle.
Recently, TC bemoaned that overproduction is affecting prices during this year’s Malawi tobacco marketing season.
TC chief executive officer (CEO) Kayisi Sadala said at a news conference recently that tobacco has fetched only US$200 million at an average price of USD1.48 per kilogramme.