LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-There is little for local tobacco farmers for this year’s marketing season with the first day as the green gold fetches as low as 80 cents per kilogram.
President Peter Mutharika and Vice-President Saulos Chilima opened this year’s tobacco market at Lilongwe Auction Floors on Monday.
This comes despite low production of tobacco in the 2018 growing season that is reduced by 14% meeting the buyers demands.
President Mutharika did offer little a hope by attempting to urge buyers to provide good prizes for farmer.
Little did The President left the Flours, farmers were seen very angry with prizes buyers were offering compared to work that accompanies the cultivation of the tobacco.
But Inkonsi Mbwerwa who is the board chair of Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) downplayed of the low prizes concerns arguing that quality of the product contributes to its prices.
TCC says the second round of crop [tobacco] assessment which the overall estimates has been reduced to 14 percent below trade requirement.
Therefore the total tobacco production is 147, 8000,000 million kilograms against tobacco buyers’ need of 171 million kilogram for 2018 marketing season for the all kinds of tobacco.
The reduction has been necessitated by the prolonged dry spells affecting some districts in the southern and central region.
But the commission is opportunistic that product might fetch high prices on the market as the demand for the green gold is high than the supply.
Therefore, the marketing seasons opens April 9, for Lilongwe flours, Chinkhoma in Kasungu on April 11, while Limbe in Blantyre on April 16 and April 23 will be for Mzuzu.