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PMI NEWS
August 14, 2018

New partnership to help farmers in Malawi grow alternative crops

3 minutes to read

Philip Morris International Inc. alongside the Feed the Future Agriculture Diversification Activity (AgDiv) has announced a new initiative which aims to help farmers in Malawi diversify the range of crops they grow and reduce their economic reliance on tobacco. 

Malawi is one of the leading producers of tobacco in the world, with annual production averaging 167 million kilograms of tobacco1. Providing an estimated annual revenue of USD 290 million in Malawi2, tobacco represents approximately 40% of the country’s annual foreign earnings3 and supports approximately 200,000 households4, with the vast majority of farmers being smallholders.

Global demand of tobacco leaf is expected to decline over time, also as consumers switch to smoke-free products which require less tobacco compared to cigarettes. Given the country’s economic dependence on tobacco, the future of Malawi’s economy and the livelihoods of its smallholder farmers are at risk. This unique new partnership aims to support farmers and improve their resilience as they prepare for the future.

Speaking about the partnership, Nicolas Denis, Vice President of Leaf at PMI, commented: “Enhancing the livelihood of smallholder farmers in places like Malawi has long been a focus for PMI. As we pivot our business towards smoke-free products, we are mindful of the impact that this will have on our supply chain. To help farmers weather this transition, we’re creating opportunities to help them grow alternative crops which support food and nutrition security, and which will help them secure a sustainable income throughout the years. This joint effort offers an exciting opportunity for us to continue building on the support we and our supplier network provide to smallholders and we look forward to seeing this partnership bear fruit not only in Malawi, but in other places, too.”

Enhancing the livelihood of smallholder farmers in places like Malawi has long been a focus for PMI. As we pivot our business towards smoke-free products, we are mindful of the impact that this will have on our supply chain.
  • Nicolas Denis, Vice President Leaf, Philip Morris International

Speaking on behalf of the Feed the Future Agriculture Diversification Activity, Carl Larkins, Chief of Party, said: “We are excited by this unique opportunity to positively impact the livelihood of Malawian farmers. We are excited to partner with PMI to leverage their agricultural expertise and supplier network alongside development resources. By focusing on the needs of smallholder farmers, this initiative will lead the way in improving the productivity and economic situation of individual farmers and the nation of Malawi as a whole.”

By focusing on the needs of smallholder farmers, this initiative will lead the way in improving the productivity and economic situation of individual farmers and the nation of Malawi as a whole.
  • Carl Larkins, Chief of Party, Feed the Future Agriculture Diversification Activity

The partnership with the Feed the Future Agriculture Diversification Activity (AgDiv), implemented by global impact firm Palladium International LLC and PMI, aims to create opportunities for smallholder farmers to diversify production away from tobacco and into other food crops such as soybean or groundnuts. The program will also help farmers adopt new technologies to boost their productivity and yields while improving food and nutrition security, ultimately creating new economic prospects for smallholders and their families.

Philip Morris International: Who We Are 
We are a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the United States of America. We’re building our future on smoke-free products. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, we aim to ensure that our smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. Our vision is that these products ultimately replace cigarettes. For more information, see our PMI and PMIScience websites. 

 

Palladium: Who We Are 
We are a global impact firm, & leaders in the design, development & delivery of Positive Impact - the intentional creation of enduring social & economic value. http://thepalladiumgroup.com/

1Tobacco Control Commission of Malawi, 2011 – 2017

2Ibid.

3UN COMTRADE, 2010 – 2015, Accessed via World Bank WITS

4AgDiv estimates