Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Limited (Limbe Leaf) Tuesday launched a three year Dzalanyama reforestation project where it will plant trees and through using new technologies, care for the trees to achieve a survival rate of above 90%.
Managing Director for Limbe Leaf, Don McAlpine said during the launch that his company has for the past three year planted over 3 million trees through a project called 'Dzalani Balani' and over 1.5 million trees covering 950 hectares at its commercial plantation in Kasungu.
"Limbe Leaf has, in 2019, committed K9 million to the Dzalanyama reforestation project and will continue to manage, in conjunction with traditional authorities and communities, the supervision and maintenance of the area. Further to this, Limbe Leaf will continue to allocate funds from our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme to the project for the next three years," said Mc Alpine.
"The project has also brought employment to the surrounding community. We are employing approximately 120 people to assist us with the pitting and planting of the trees and will be engaging more people to work on firebreaks," he added.
Mc Alpine said already, the company has planted 18,000 trees on the 20 hectare area which the forestry department allocated to it at Dzalanyama forest reserve.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Masi commended Limbe Leaf for its efforts in making Malawi green.
"The fact that Limbe Leaf is pledging not to only plant the trees, but also manage them for the next three years, demonstrates their commitment to a sustainable forestation programme."
"Limbe Leaf is a great partner of government in many aspects and my presence here is to show government appreciation of what you have achieved and continue to achieve as an investor in Malawi," said Masi.
He also hailed Limbe Leaf for providing employment opportunities for the community around Dzalanyama through the project.
Traditional Authority Masumbankhunda thanked Limbe Leaf for the project and committed that his subjects will take care of the trees describing them as 'Malawi's only gold'.