Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 2

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Page 47 of 79

48 tobaccoasia LEAF NEWS 烟叶新闻 WHO SAID WHAT? "Why do e-cigarettes exist? Basically because medicine has failed. The NRTs, the nicotine replacement therapies, the gums and patches that we all know, have a success rate of 6% or even less than that. I think that e-cigarettes have a role to play as a substitute for smoking." – Dr. Konstantinos Farslinos, cardiovascular specialist and researcher at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens, Greece and the University of Patra, Greece and rural affairs. "We know there is a continued future for tobacco in Norfolk, Brant, Oxford, and Elgin counties." In 2013, 241 growers delivered a harvest nearly 10% short of that year's projected volume of 62 m.lbs. The shortfall was blamed mostly on the weather. Faced with that, growers delivered a lower crop, albeit of good quality. The 2014 growing season presented challenges. From seeding their greenhous- es to transplanting to the fields, growers were delayed at the onset by unseasonably cool temperatures, board chairman Fred Neukamm said at the time. Namibia/China Ministry Clears Tobacco Project A Chinese company, Namibia Oriental Tobacco, has applied for 10,000 hectares in the Zambezi region for tobacco and maize production. Last month, regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu told The Namibian newspaper that he spent a good number of years in China looking for potential investors for the project. Amukwiyu said he has been at the helm of the project that was supposed to have started last year. A letter seen by The Namibian addressed to the company from the environment ministry shows that the project still needs to receive authoriza- tion for clearing of a state forest and water abstraction from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry. "The environmental assessment impact and environment management plan submitted are sufficient as they make provision for the environmental management concerning the proposed activities," the letter read. It further said regular environment monitoring and evaluations on environmental perfor- mance should be conducted on site. The ministry also attached legislative and regulatory conditions which should be followed during the operational phase of the project. The environmental clearance certificate is valid for a period of three years from date of issue, which in this case is December 19, 2014, unless withdrawn by the ministry. The environmental impact assess- ment submitted by Namibia Oriental Tobacco states that the primary purpose of the farm will be tobacco production, although maize will also be planted on a rotational basis in order to prevent or minimise the occurrence of tobacco related pests and diseases. The company justified the project's production by stating that from 1995 to 1997 trials in tobacco production in Namibia's Omaheke, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, Okavango (East and West), and Omusati regions were conducted and they showed that tobacco could be a very profitable option. The project justification also said tobacco produced in Namibia can successfully fill the market niche created by the reduced production of tobacco in Zimbabwe. Malawi Tobacco Remains Key President Peter Mutharika officially opened this year's tobacco marketing season at Kanengo Auction Floors in Lilongwe with a call from tobacco buyers to offer good prices and reiter- ated that tobacco will remain Malawi's main foreign exchange earner despite the ongoing global anti-smoking lobby. Mutharika said he will not stand aside and watch his farmers being exploited, pointing out that tobacco is a crop of national strategic importance for the role it plays in the national economy. "My government will continue to engage with our customers overseas to ensure that our tobacco farmers are protected," said Mutharika. "We are engaging different companies to explore and widen the tobacco exports to the US and other destinations globally." The opening of the season comes at a time the country is bound to yield lower than expected volume of tobacco on the backdrop of ravaging floods that damaged and washed away crops, including Malawi's major foreign exchange earner, tobacco. The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) is projecting that the country will yield 181.6 million kilograms ( of all tobacco varieties, namely burley, flue-cured, and dark- fired. Mutharika said the importance of tobacco to the Malawi economy cannot be overemphasized since it is contribut- ing greatly to the country's foreign exchange earnings. "My government is therefore promoting tobacco production and marketing as a crop of strategic impor- tance so that our farmers in the rural areas are economically empowered," said Mutharika. The Malawi leader said his government is also determined to promote value addition to increase export earnings from tobacco through manufacturing of cigarettes, pipe tobacco snuff, cigars, and cigarillos. Mutharika said he is aware that the tobacco industry is facing a lot of chal- lenges and key among them is the issue of the anti-smoking lobby spearheaded by the World Health Organization Framework Convention in Tobacco Control in order to safeguard human health. "This has had and will continue to have negative effects on demand for tobacco worldwide and may therefore

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