Govt forbids employing children in tobacco farming

25Jun 2021
The Guardian
Govt forbids employing children in tobacco farming

​​​​​​​THE government has forbidden farmers and companies from employing children in tobacco farming activities to avoid international litigation as it was the case with Malawi.

The proscription was given here yesterday by Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe as he was addressing a tobacco stakeholders meeting that also launched a team tasked to develop the tobacco industry.

He said it was a great offence to use children to work in tobacco farms.

“I would not like seeing children working in tobacco farms else we could face international litigation as international law prohibits children to work in tobacco farms,” he said.

He stressed that there was no reason at all to use children, saying adults can do the job professionally to develop the sector.

He explained that the government does not like seeing any problems plaguing the tobacco industry, the stakeholders should do the job as they do in regard to other strategic crops such as cashew nuts.

In regard to the tree planting issue, Bashe said there were many open areas in which farmers can plant trees to protect tobacco farming as well as protect the environment.

“When you engage in tobacco farming one must have trees to create an environment for improving the crop as the grade of Tanzania tobacco was plummeting due to lack of trees,” Bashe said.

“We should plant trees in abundance to improve the crop’s environment, we should not turn back, but make strides forward,” the deputy minister added.

He said the team he had launched will work under the chairmanship of Nyasebwa Chimago who will join others to work for the development of the tobacco sector.

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