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Friday, 27 March 2020 02:21

Coronavirus delays the opening of 2020 tobacco market

Written by  Lisa Kadango
Sadala ( c ) during the briefing Sadala ( c ) during the briefing Pic. by MANA

Lilongwe, 27 March, 2020: 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 the Media briefing on the opening of this years’ 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 been conceded 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 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 approval to open the market when the situation is back to normal.

He stressed that Tobacco commission is taking 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 the 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 concludes that the commission is ready for the 4th marketing season but that the coronavirus remains the threat to open the Tobacco market in good time