tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

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Malawi to continue relying on tobacco

Malawi will continue to promote tobacco production until viable alternatives are identified, Principle Secretary for Agriculture Andrew Daudi has said.

He was speaking at Sunbird Livingstonia Hotel in Salima where he officially opened an annual meeting of the International Tobacco Growers Association – ITGA for African tobacco growing countries.

Daudi said although Malawi appreciates efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) to regulate tobacco production and marketing through the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control due to health risks associated with smoking, the country could not just abandon tobacco production overnight because of its significance to the economy and people’s livelihood in the country.

He urged the WHO to actively engage government of tobacco growing countries as well as grower associations in finding proper means of addressing the problems of tobacco.

“Malawi will continue producing tobacco. The country will produce the last leaf of tobacco,” said Daudi.

He commended the ITGA for bringing to the attention of the WHO the position of tobacco growing countries as well as growers themselves in the advancement of the framework convention.

In the meantime, Daudi said government would continue promoting economic diversification to gradually reduce the country’s dependence on tobacco.

Daudi also challenged tobacco merchants to ensure that they absorb all the tobacco produced in the country this year, saying if buyers continue to reject bales of tobacco as was the case now, the tobacco selling season would stretch up to February this year.

In his remarks, the President of the Tobacco Association of Malawi Mr. Rauben Maigwa warned WHO that unilateral decision in the regulation of tobacco will bring misery to tobacco growing countries and communities around the world.

He also said diversification away from tobacco cannot be successful without the involvement of tobacco growers in the effort. He said government should be allowed to do proper research in their efforts to replace tobacco with other crops.

Said Maigwa: “Tobacco remains important as is a lifeline crop for many countries, including Malawi. It is labour intensive and it provides employment to large segments of the population.”

The meeting in Salima has brought together participants from Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda. The ITGA was founded in 1983 to advance the interests of tobacco growing countries in the world.

Malawi is estimated to have produced 250 million kilogrammes of tobacco this year, up from 194 million kilogrammes last year and is one of the world’s largest producer of the leaf.

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