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Native Tobacco Board


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The Native Tobacco Board, or NTB, was formed in Nyasaland in 1926 as a Government-sponsored body with the primary aim of controlling the production of tobacco by African smallholders and generating revenues for the government, and the secondary aim of increasing the volume and quality of tobacco exports. At the time of its formation, much of Nyasaland's tobacco was produced in European-owned estates, whose owners demanded protection against African competition and against the possibility that profitable smallholder farming would draw cheap African labour away from their estates. From around 1940, the aim of the NTB was less about restricting African tobacco production and more about generating governmental revenues, supposedly for development but still involving the diversion of resources from smallholder farming. In 1956, the activities, powers and duties of what had by then been renamed the African Tobacco Board were transferred to the Agricultural Production and Marketing Board which had powers to buy smallholder surpluses of tobacco, maize, cotton and other crops, but producer prices continued to be biased against peasant producers.
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