Tobacco farmers in Malawi have been challenged by buyers to produce 160,000 tonnes of the leaf in the 2017-2018 tobacco growing season.
According to a press statement from the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), released on Friday and signed by TCC Acting Chief Executive Officer, David Luka, out of what buyers are demanding, 130,000 tonnes is burley, 25,000 tonnes is flue cured tobacco, and 5,000 tonnes is dark fire cured tobacco.
Maravi Post has established that Malawi’s tobacco farmers produced 152,000 tonnes this year, a 43,000 plunge from 195,000 tonnes they produced in last year.
The findings also reveal that Malawi sold 106,000 tonnes of tobacco out of 152,000 produced this year, which raked in a total of US$212 million (about K155.6 billion).
In a telephone interview yesterday, Tobacco Commission CEO Luka asked tobacco farmers not to disappoint the buyers.
“Farmers should not lose this opportunity, they should make sure that they match the buyers’ demand. However, my plea is that they should not produce beyond the demand because this always affects the prices,” he said.
Luka said currently. the Commission is registering and issuing tobacco quota’s, and that “there will be no extension of the registration period this year.”
He said the TCC closes issuing the 2017-2018 quotas at the end of September.
A tobacco farmer in the northern region, Leonard Kiyombo, thanked the TCC for the timely alert.