Malawi is firmly rooted among the poorest nations worldwide. But there has been a silver lining over the last decade in the form of the Integrated Production System (IPS) promoted by tobacco buyers, ensuring better standards of farming and thus yields, and including labour practices.
This should be replicated and piggy- backed into other crops, notably soya and groundnuts, turning all crops into sources of cash. But today the tobacco industry – and the IPS – is threatened by the anti-tobacco lobby.
Malawi and the donors will have to vigorously pursue reforms while actively lobbying to keep the industry alive for as long as possible to enable a transition to other sources of income.
Read the full paper here.