Magufuli opens Malawi tobacco market: No tax for small–scale farmers

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President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has commended the role farmers play in driving the social economic development of this country. President Mutharika was speaking during the opening of this year’s tobacco marketing season in Lilongwe. During the function, President Mutharika announced the removal of tax on farmers selling not more than ten bails of tobacco at the auction floors.

President Mutharika and President Magufuli President Mutharika and President Magufuli

President Mutharika then announced that his government will soon introduce community factories and village banks where farmers will be able to access loans. On the relationship between Malawi and Tanzania, President Mutharika commended President Dr John Pombe Magufuli for being a true friend to this country, as the two countries share common history.

He further said the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP), popularly known as Mtukula Pakhomo, will be increased. The programme  targets ultra-poor and labour-constrained households who are getting cash transfers every month.

Mutharika,  who  acknowledged the difficulties arising from the outdated law on the tobacco industry, said the Tobacco Industry Act comes as a reform to the tobacco industry and will protect farmers from selling their tobacco at a low price.

Said President Mutharika: “Malawi’s economic growth is founded on farming and for this reason, our farmers need to be protected.”

Speaking when commissioning this year’s tobacco marketing season, President Magufuli thanked his Malawian counterpart for honouring him with an invitation to open this year’s tobacco selling markets. He said tobacco is also an important crop for Tanzania just as it is for Malawi.

He said it is sad the agriculture sector in Africa is facing various challenges which make farmers remain poor despite their hard work. Some of the challenges, he said are reliable markets.

However, Dr Magufuli said he is impressed that the Malawi government is working tirelessly to ensure tobacco farmers benefit from their sweat.

He commended Mutharika for his effort in undertaking initiatives to overcome some of these challenges for example, the establishment of the Green belt initiative.

He also commended Malawi for incorporating other crops in its agriculture sector.

The Tanzanian leader also expressed satisfaction in the good relations that exist between Malawi and Tanzania and declared the 2019 tobacco market season officially open.

President Magufuli has ended his two-day State visit to Malawi which saw him holding bilateral talks in Lilongwe among other engagements.

Magufuli, who was accompanied by his wife Janet Magufuli and several Government officials, was seen off at Kamuzu International Aiport by President Mutharika.

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