Malawian farmers unhappy with down grading of tobacco at flours

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) on Tuesday expressed sadness over down grading of the tobacco at flours  since the marketing season opened this year in May.

The development has ended up farmers fetching little income from cheaper tobacco sells.

The farmers are also not happy with high registration fee farmers are labored to pay which is MK 6.00 per kilogram.

TAM President Kalima Banda told the 2019 31st annual Congress in the capital Lilongwe that despite new Tobacco Industry Act in place, farmers still having daunting task to yield from their work.

Banda observed that downgrading of the crop on the market has ended up farmers getting little from their proceeds than anticipated.

He therefore urged tobacco authority to look into the matter which has also been characterized with high rejection rate of the crop.

“The fee farmers are charged for registration is so high which needs to be reduced further that we benefit from from our hard earned money.

“We want also tobacco authorities to increase number of centres that farmers go to reduce transportation cost,” urges Banda.

Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Gray Nyandule Phiri assured farmers of Malawi government commitment towards their well-fare.

Phiri disclosed that the ministry will carry another tobacco assessment to establish real volume grown this year that has contributed to rejection rate,

He therefore urged farmers to align themselves to new Tobacco Industry Act for better crop production.

Under theme “Farmer, Now and Tomorrow the Quest for Livelihood Improvement”, the event also marked 90th anniversary celebrations of the association’ existence.

As part of the celebrations, the salvation band led the delegates to the annual congress hall in an anniversary march from City Centre business area to the Golden Peacock Hotel via the presidential drive.

As part of the Tobacco remains the sore major forex earner for Malawi.

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