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In Pictures: Malawi's tobacco industry
With plummeting prices and a collapsing market, much of the industry is going up in smoke.
Last updated: 10 Feb 2014 06:42
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Blantyre, Malawi - This country has traditionally depended heavily on tobacco production and sales to support its economy. But its reliance on the cash crop has contributed to Malawi's vulnerable economic position on the global level.

However, with poor market prices, the anti-smoking lobby gaining new prominence and poor economic governance, farmers are now turning to more profitable crops.

According to the International Tobacco Growers Association, transnational tobacco manufacturing and tobacco leaf companies have been collaborating in numerous efforts to oppose global tobacco control. One of their strategies is to stress the economic importance of tobacco to the developing countries that grow it.

Malawi is an extreme example, but not a unique case, of how transnational tobacco companies have used developing countries' economic dependence to oppose global tobacco regulations. While there is a push for Malawi to diversify crops for economic stability, for now, tobacco will remain the country's main foreign exchange earner. 


/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Ireen Kameta plucks the mature leaves at her tobacco field. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of Malawians are directly or indirectly employed by the tobacco industry.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Malawi has been the leader in tobacco production in southern Africa dating back to the 1890s, and the industry is still the cornerstone of the country's economy.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Many farmers are leaving tobacco cultivation and venturing into other crops due to the poor price being offered on the market. The devaluation of the Malawi currency has hit farmers here hard.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

While the income from production was once concentrated among a few estate owners, it is now spread across some 350,000 households, with powerful multiplier effects in rural areas.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Ireen Kameta lives in a grass thatched house after ten years as a tobacco farmer, and struggles to feed her family after tobacco prices plummeted.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

In Malawi, seven out of 10 workers are either directly or indirectly employed by the sector and tobacco represents up to 53 percent of the country's exports.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Falesi Laudoni sells vegetables in the upmarket town of Zingwangwa in Blantyre city. She had been a tobacco farmer for more than ten years, but decided to quit in order to make more money. She now makes three dollars a day in a country where an average resident lives on a dollar per day.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Chipiliro Phiri, 22, is a welder at a garage in Ndirande township in Blantyre. A former tobacco farmer, he moved to the city after failing to raise enough money from the harvest last year.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Former tobacco farmer Magaret Luka arranges her fresh tomatoes on her bench at a local market in Malawi's commercial capital. She has sold tomatoes for five years and makes more than she could if she was still growing tobacco.



/Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Once a tabacco farmer, 23-year-old Maliko Binali now makes a living in a furniture workshop in the populous township of Ndirande. He says tobacco farming is too involving and demands a lot of energy and hard work for a very low income.




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images:
/mritems/images/2014/2/7/201427104745161646_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/20142710474652731_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/201427104746833688_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/201427104747817511_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/201427104748739200_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/201427104749349268_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/20142710475067625_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/201427104750895528_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/201427104751630492_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/7/201427104752364937_8.jpg
captions:

Ireen Kameta plucks the mature leaves at her tobacco field. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of Malawians are directly or indirectly employed by the tobacco industry.

;*;

Malawi has been the leader in tobacco production in southern Africa dating back to the 1890s, and the industry is still the cornerstone of the country(***)s economy.

;*;

Many farmers are leaving tobacco cultivation and venturing into other crops due to the poor price being offered on the market. The devaluation of the Malawi currency has hit farmers here hard.

;*;

While the income from production was once concentrated among a few estate owners, it is now spread across some 350,000 households, with powerful multiplier effects in rural areas.

;*;

Ireen Kameta lives in a grass thatched house after ten years as a tobacco farmer, and struggles to feed her family after tobacco prices plummeted.

;*;

In Malawi, seven out of 10 workers are either directly or indirectly employed by the sector and tobacco represents up to 53 percent of the country(***)s exports.

;*;

Falesi Laudoni sells vegetables in the upmarket town of Zingwangwa in Blantyre city. She had been a tobacco farmer for more than ten years, but decided to quit in order to make more money. She now makes three dollars a day in a country where an average resident lives on a dollar per day.

;*;

Chipiliro Phiri, 22, is a welder at a garage in Ndirande township in Blantyre. A former tobacco farmer, he moved to the city after failing to raise enough money from the harvest last year.

;*;

Former tobacco farmer Magaret Luka arranges her fresh tomatoes on her bench at a local market in Malawi(***)s commercial capital. She has sold tomatoes for five years and makes more than she could if she was still growing tobacco.

;*;

Once a tabacco farmer, 23-year-old Maliko Binali now makes a living in a furniture workshop in the populous township of Ndirande. He says tobacco farming is too involving and demands a lot of energy and hard work for a very low income.

Daylife ID:
f2711802e148e54828a5d3279b242046
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media;*;Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Malawi farminghttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farmingen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:38:29 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/bf5481f638005d7c190b6caae8da07ab

Ireen Kameta plucks the mature leaves at her tobacco field at Maleule, 42 kilometers northeast of Blantyre. While tobacco has been Malawi's major foreign exchange earner, many farmers are quitting, opting for other profitable crops, such as soya, sunflower, cassava and pigeon peas. Coupled with poor price on the market, tobacco is facing the anti smoking lobby globally. There are international campaings that are pushing Malawi to diversify their crops. Estimates indicate that more than 80 of Malawians are directly or indirectly employed by the tobacco industry.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/bf5481f638005d7c190b6caae8da07abEldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Ireen Kameta plucks the mature leaves at her tobacco field at Maleule, 42 kilometers northeast of Blantyre. While tobacco has been Malawi's major foreign exchange earner, many farmers are quitting, opting for other profitable crops, such as soya, sunflower, cassava and pigeon peas. Coupled with poor price on the market, tobacco is facing the anti smoking lobby globally. There are international campaings that are pushing Malawi to diversify their crops. Estimates indicate that more than 80 of Malawians are directly or indirectly employed by the tobacco industry.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/8ce213dfc899e10fa79657ab4e5f256f

Malawi has been the leader in tobacco production in southern Africa dating back to the 1890s, and the industry is still the cornerstone of the country's economy.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/8ce213dfc899e10fa79657ab4e5f256fEldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Malawi has been the leader in tobacco production in southern Africa dating back to the 1890s, and the industry is still the cornerstone of the country's economy.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/727e987c4d5ab7fbbcb0631ab5459c13

Many farmers are leaving tobacco cultivation and venturing into other crops due to the poor price being offered on the market. The devaluation of the Malawi currency against the other currencies has had a very negative effect on Malawi's crop production.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/727e987c4d5ab7fbbcb0631ab5459c13Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Many farmers are leaving tobacco cultivation and venturing into other crops due to the poor price being offered on the market. The devaluation of the Malawi currency against the other currencies has had a very negative effect on Malawi's crop production.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/b82749c43c7ae2fffe6b63ae7406ec72

While the income from production was formerly concentrated among a limited number of commercial estate owners, such income is now spread to some 350,000 households, with powerful multiplier effects in rural areas. However, the poor price on the market is pushing the farmers away from the country's number one foreign exchange earner.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/b82749c43c7ae2fffe6b63ae7406ec72Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

While the income from production was formerly concentrated among a limited number of commercial estate owners, such income is now spread to some 350,000 households, with powerful multiplier effects in rural areas. However, the poor price on the market is pushing the farmers away from the country's number one foreign exchange earner.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/e2d99413d2f905c0fcb531c8b1ca9470

Ireen Kameta barely earns enough to feed her family. She still lives in a grass thatched house after ten years as a tobacco farmer. The earlier flow of cash income into rural areas has slowed to a trickle in recent years as a result of sharp tobacco price decline, related to short term international supply and demand conditions, reduced farm productivity and high and rising transaction and logistics costs in the tobacco marketing chain.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/e2d99413d2f905c0fcb531c8b1ca9470Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Ireen Kameta barely earns enough to feed her family. She still lives in a grass thatched house after ten years as a tobacco farmer. The earlier flow of cash income into rural areas has slowed to a trickle in recent years as a result of sharp tobacco price decline, related to short term international supply and demand conditions, reduced farm productivity and high and rising transaction and logistics costs in the tobacco marketing chain.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/adf0d347bf1d3c539180d0ccf6239a3f

In Malawi, seven out of 10 workers are either directly or indirectly employed by the sector and tobacco represents up to 53 percent of the country's exports.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/adf0d347bf1d3c539180d0ccf6239a3fEldson Chagara/Transterra Media

In Malawi, seven out of 10 workers are either directly or indirectly employed by the sector and tobacco represents up to 53 percent of the country's exports.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/046df759639ce68fbfaf7749ab1dc192

Falesi Laudoni sells vegetables in the up market town of Zingwangwa in Blantyre city. She had been a tobacco farmer for over ten years, but decided to quit in order to make more money. She makes 3 dollars a day in a country where an average resident lives on a dollar per day. She says tobacco production is dwindling due to poor market price.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/046df759639ce68fbfaf7749ab1dc192Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Falesi Laudoni sells vegetables in the up market town of Zingwangwa in Blantyre city. She had been a tobacco farmer for over ten years, but decided to quit in order to make more money. She makes 3 dollars a day in a country where an average resident lives on a dollar per day. She says tobacco production is dwindling due to poor market price.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/a72c1e1498b6ced764b417c08107cc04

Chipiliro Phiri, 22, is a welder at a garage in Ndirande township in Blantyre. Chipiliro, who has been working with his family in tobacco farming, decided to move to the city after failing to raise enough money from the harvest last year's harvest.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/a72c1e1498b6ced764b417c08107cc04Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Chipiliro Phiri, 22, is a welder at a garage in Ndirande township in Blantyre. Chipiliro, who has been working with his family in tobacco farming, decided to move to the city after failing to raise enough money from the harvest last year's harvest.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/21d8d489ba2d48e97ad900f393bece19

Magaret Luka arranges her fresh tomatoes on her bench at a local market in Malawi's commercial capital. Magaret says she used to grow tobacco when it was fetching more money. She decided to quit and start selling tomatoes. She is five years into the business and makes more than she could if she was still growing tobacco. Tobacco farming in Africa, and in particular in Malawi, is in crisis. It perpetuates poverty and it harms the environment.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/21d8d489ba2d48e97ad900f393bece19Eldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Magaret Luka arranges her fresh tomatoes on her bench at a local market in Malawi's commercial capital. Magaret says she used to grow tobacco when it was fetching more money. She decided to quit and start selling tomatoes. She is five years into the business and makes more than she could if she was still growing tobacco. Tobacco farming in Africa, and in particular in Malawi, is in crisis. It perpetuates poverty and it harms the environment.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/b830bb23b152dd336202f043f8720c2c

Once a tabacco farmer in his natal village, Maliko Binali, 23, moved to Blantyre city where he now makes a living in a furniture workshop in the populous township of Ndirande. He says tobacco farming is too involving and demands a lot of energy and hard work for a very low income.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Malawi_farming/slideshow/no-caption/b830bb23b152dd336202f043f8720c2cEldson Chagara/Transterra Media

Once a tabacco farmer in his natal village, Maliko Binali, 23, moved to Blantyre city where he now makes a living in a furniture workshop in the populous township of Ndirande. He says tobacco farming is too involving and demands a lot of energy and hard work for a very low income.



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