The objectives of the Association as stated in the Constitution are:-
- To provide and develop the Flue cured, NDDF, SDF and Burley Tobacco Industry in Malawi.
- To advance and protect the interests of the tobacco growers.
- To co-operate with government and other associations, bodies or individuals having similar interests.
- Enhance export demand by overseas tobacco promotion tours.
- Undertake farm input surveys.
- Monitor international tobacco trends.
- Participate in ITGA programs
TAMA activities are totality of programs whose sole aim is to realize the overall goals and objectives of TAMA. The ICT Department coordinates on data concerning the Association and its membership. It also coordinates data on tobacco trends on both local and international markets.
The Marketing and Business Development is responsible for the production aspect of tobacco in the country. It works closely with other organizations especially government in finding ways to assist farmers with input, finances, farm improvements and it also coordinates on cooperatives development as well as tobacco haulage and tobacco rehandling through its fully fledged TAMA Re-handling Company.
TAMA, though its Operation Departments runs satellite depots accross the country to enable growers deliver their tobacco at places near their farms there by bringing the market close to the smallholder farmer.The depots are also used as outlets for Hessian distribution.
The Finance Department keeps track of income and expenditure to better assist and satisfy its membership.
The Customer Service Department ensures the good image of the Association. It co-ordinates and advises on all media matters. Facilitates good relations with the general public, press and other organizations within and outside Malawi. A monthly bulletin is written and distributed to all Councillors to inform them about TAMAs’ business focus. Another task under this department is to produce a weekly sponsored radio program called “Mayi wa Alimi a Fodya m’Malawi” on both MBC Radio 1 and ZBS. The department also authors a Malawi country report on Tobacco in the quarterly ITGA Magazine called Tobacco Courier. Further responsibilities include organizing formal and informal functions for the Association,co-ordinating the association’s participation in the trade fair, resolving growers queries and problems and grower representation on sales and marketing on the floors.
An emerging issue in the tobacco sector is the use of child labour. It is broadly agreed that a child’s education is the key to the future. TAMA therefore, believes the elimination of child labour is the key to our future.
At TAMA, we are committed to dealing responsibly with the problem of child labour in Malawi. The best way to address this issue is through integrated approaches that involve communication, civic education and community involvement. TAMA’s commitment can be seen by the creation of the Association for Elimination of Child Labour. The Association that has duly been registered, comprises of personnel from the private sector, NGO community and Government. The goal of the Association is to strengthen, the private, NGO, traditional and community sectors response on the fight against child labour. It aims at instilling public awareness of worst forms of child labour, coordinating activities of eliminating worst forms of child labour and soliciting support for the same.
TAMA continues to sensitize its members on the dangers of Child Labour. This is done through radio programs on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Zodiac as well as during contact meetings with the farmers. For example TAMA had 25 area meetings in February 2013 and Child Labour was an item on the agenda. TAMA is also a member of ECLT Foundation (Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Industry). Apart from being a member of ECLT TAMA is also a member of the National TASK Force which organized a World Child Labour Day in Nkhotakota in June 2013 and preparation for the Malawi Delegation to the International Child Labour Conference in Brazill in October 2013.
The funding of the Association is derived from a cess levied on all tobacco sold by its members through Auction Floors. Cess rates are recommended by the Association and approved by Government.
The powers of the association are vested in the council which at present consists of 21 councilors, elected to represent either flue-cured or burley growers in various areas in the country. In turn, Council elects seven office bearers among themselves to save as board members and five Trustees for the Association which most of them are retired presidents as well as prominent tobacco growers.
In an effort to address issues of environmental degradation through aforestation, TAMA makes an annual contribution to the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources. TAMA has also established over forty cooperatives which have Forest Committees whose aim is to sensitize the cooperative members on the importance of forestry preservation. Currently efforts are underway to look for partners who can assist the association members in this area of aforestation.