Chief Chanje bans tobacco vendors in his chiefdom

By Staff Reporter

CHIEF Chanje of the Chewa speaking people in Chipangali district of Eastern Province has with immediate effect banned vendors from buying tobacco from small scale farmers in his chiefdom.

Speaking to over the weekend Chief Chanje said the ban in his chiefdom and that of chief Chikuwe was intended to protect farmers from exploitative vendors who offer very low prices for the tobacco.

“A lot of farmers have been exploited every year by tobacco vendors when marketing season opens in March-April. They usually steal from farmers by giving them bad prices, tightening their scales,” said Chief Chanje.

The traditional leader has since directed all indunas and headmen in both chiefdoms to arrest any vendors enticing farmers.

He has also called on Japan Tobacco International Company to send more security personnel to help in stopping the exploitation of tobacco farmers.

“Every year JTI has been sending some security personnel in the two areas to protect their tobacco,” he said.

JTI is an outgrower company that supplies implements to farmers and recover the loans after harvesting time.