NTRM stands for Non-Tobacco Related Materials. These are foreign objects and materials found in graded and sacked tobacco. Examples of NTRM are plastic, feathers, Eggs, sand, metals etc.
How bad is NTRM?
As a country, NTRM tarnish Malawi's tobacco reputation.
NTRM can cause cancer especially the plastics.
How is NTRM found in Tobacco?
NTRM is introduced into tobacco bales through the following ways:
Deliberate - Growers put NTRM in tobacco in order to make their tobacco weigh more than normal weight. The will intentionally pack bales with rocks, metal, sand and wood, just to mention a few.
Accidentally - This happens because of less care given to tobacco especially when plucking, transfering, curing, grading and pressing. Examples are feathers, Eggs, sand, metals etc.
How can we prevent NTRM?
Some of the ways to prevent NTRM are:
Do not use fertiliser sacks when carrying tobacco.
Do not use plastic threads when sawing tobacco bales.
Remove all MT9 / MT2 or silk threads and everything that is not tobacco.
When grading tobacco, make sure to select an area away from chicken's pen and it has to be well-taken care of.
Do not tie fertiliser sack to the presser when pressing tobacco.
Penalty for Nesting and NTRM
Every bale found with NTRM is returned to grading and the grower pays a penalty by being deducted MK25.00 for every Kg per bale. On top of the penalty, their is also a cost of grading, transport for sending tobacco to a grader.
As to the country, the biggest penalty, is when the buyers stop buying malawian tobacco. Any grower who is caught for nesting might be prosecuted in court.
What is Nesting?
Nesting is hiding materials which are not tobacco or bad-tobacco beneath or within a tobacco bale. This is ussually done by putting good quality on top with the aim of tricking the buyer.
Nesting is the same as duping because growers do this in order to get more money while knowing that the tobacco being sold is not worth the money to be earned.
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