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Coronavirus Delays Tobacco Market

By Lisa Kadango, MANA

CEO for Tobacco Commission Kayisi Sadala and President for Tobacco Media Network Alfred Chauwa captured during the Press Media

The Tobacco Commission (TC) says preparation for the 2020 market season is on despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for TC, Kayisi Sadala said this on Wednesday during a media briefing on the opening of this year’s market season in Lilongwe.

Sadala said there is need to update the media on COVID-19 which has affected the global village both economically and socially.

He said that the commission is not left out on preventive measures on the pandemic as the virus has affected the global business that has led to lockdown in affected neighbouring countries.

“As you are aware that the head of State Prof. Peter Mutharika restricted gatherings up to 100, it has coincided with the opening of 2020 Tobacco Market season since the market is always congested with the buyers and growers.

He explained that the commission is still monitoring the situation and will find a way to prevent the growers and the buyers from the deadly disease.

Sadala was quick to point out that preparatory meetings are taking place so that the market can operate but will wait for government’s approval to open the market when the situation is back to normal.

He stressed that the Tobacco Commission is taking all precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus through proper hygiene like distributing protective kits for its employees.

On Tobacco estimates, Sadala revealed that consolidation is taking place and that the commission is able to announce the data for crop estimates and withhold release order imposed by the US government.

He revealed that the country received a delegation from the US government to appreciate the initiative taking place on the ground on issues of Child labour and forced labour in the country

On illegal vending the TC Chief said the TC is watching closely the malpractice and that it will enforce the law and monitor the situation on the ground.

He concluded that the commission is ready for the 4th marketing season but that the coronavirus remains a threat to the opening of the Tobacco market in good time.

Speaking on behalf of the media, President for Media Association in Malawi, Alfred Chauwa thanked the CEO for the update and urged the commission to continue engaging the media regularly to avoid informing the public with fake news. 

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