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CEO's Corner

The Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (ARET) is Malawi’s premier institution in tobacco research, extension and training. ARET’s mission is to promote sustainable production of tobacco and other high-value export agricultural crops for the realization of improved farm profits.
Tobacco production is critically important to Malawi; accounting for more than 80 per cent of the country’s total exports by value, and some 15 percent of the country’s GDP. Tobacco wealth has greatly contributed to the growth of Malawi. Malawi is the world’s leading producer of burley tobacco. The country exports its tobacco to more than 70 countries.

The tobacco industry is facing a lot of challenges; both at international and local level. In spite of these challenges, however, alternatives to tobacco remain elusive and the country will continue to depend on tobacco for its socio-economic development in the short to medium term.

On its part, ARET remains committed to its innovation-drive in the areas of technology development and transfer. Furthermore, as the country makes a lot of effort to diversify the agricultural sector, ARET is in the forefront assisting tobacco farmers to diversify and encouraging them to grow other high value crops in addition to tobacco. This ensures a broader and diversified economic base for the tobacco farmers. The response from tobacco farmers is overwhelmingly positive. There is hope that we will continue to see a lot of impact in the agricultural sector and on the economy as a whole with diversifaction on tobacco farms.

While acknowledging the positive strides we have made over the years in addressing our stakeholders’ interests, we also recognize the various challenges that we face. However, through continued interaction with various stakeholders we continue to get important feedback which helps us surmount the challenges and achieve our goals.

ARET scientists and specialists are more determined than ever to fulfil the Trust’s vision to be the centre of excellence in technology development, dissemination and training in tobacco and other high value export oriented crops. It is my hope that, together, we will be able to address the various challenges that we face as an industry.

We look forward to continued excellent intra as well as inter-sector relationship with the various organizations and institutions through our website, extension offices, the public relations office and the various interactive tools that we have. It is my hope that you will enjoy interacting with us through this Website.