Malawi Broadcasting Corporation

Government to engage extra gear in rooting out tenancy

Government says it will accelerate its efforts in combating sporadic tenancy issues among household and smallholder farmers across the country.

Minister of Labour,  Agnes Nyalonje, made the remarks in Lilongwe during  launch of  ‘Survey on tenant growers in Malawi’s tobacco industry Summary Report.’

Nyalonje said the report  justifies why government abolished tenancy agreements in tobacco farms in 2021 and commissioned the survey in 2022.

Nyalonje shares the report to ECAM Executive Director, George Khaki.

“The findings of this report vindicates the decision we took as government back in 2021. We said no to tenancy because the system defeats all tenets of decent work. However, the findings indicate some sporadic issues here and there on tenancy and since this report is comprehensive we will identify all hotspots where these issues are happening and we will address them, ” said Nyalonje.

In his remarks, Executive Director of Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM), George Khaki, emphasised that big companies in tobacco industry are complying to international standards on rooting out tenancy in all its forms.

“The report highlights household level and smallholder farmers. The report doesn’t mention big players in the industry because they are complying to all relevant laws and conventions. Now this is work cut out for us to engage household and smallholder farmers to stop these malpractices,” said Khaki.

Participants to the dissemination of survey findings

In particular, the survey highlighted the increased challenges faced by female tenants, such as lower levels of school attendance and education, further limited access to information about wages and working conditions, and lower quality housing.

The survey also  revealed vulnerabilities of tenants in  Malawi’s Southern Region, who experienced health complications, occupational accidents and food insecurity at higher levels than tenants in other regions.

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