Sales open on good note

| May 18, 2017

Malawi’s Mzuzu Auction Floors opened on a good note with the highest price paid for flue-cured tobacco reaching US$4.35 per kg and that for Burley reaching US$2.20 per kg, according to a story in The Nyasa Times.

Opening the floors, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Aggrey Masi said this year’s leaf was of high quality because of good rains, the increased use of certified seed from improved tobacco varieties, and good crop management.

He said the importance of tobacco to Malawi’s economy could not be over-emphasized because it contributed significantly to the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

This was the reason why the government still promoted tobacco production. It was a crop of strategic importance that economically empowered farmers.

Masi said the government was prioritizing key tobacco policy reforms, including the introduction of the Integrated Production System, the review of the Tobacco Act, the new tobacco grower registration system, and investment in value addition.

According to Masi, tobacco-industry reforms were intended ‘to support the establishment of a transformative framework that will help address systemic bottlenecks in the industry, thereby stimulating increase in productive capacity and enhancing linkages to the market’.

He assured farmers that the government would continue with the reforms in order to create a win-win situation for buyers and farmers.

“My expectation is that you should be matching quality with reasonable prices,” Masi said in a statement directed at buyers. “These farmers deserve better prices for them to re-invest in the tobacco enterprise this coming growing season.”

The chairperson of Tobacco Control Commission Inkosi Ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V said that this year’s selling season had started on a good note because of the government’s control measures. “As a result of controlled production, forces of demand and supply are at play and good prices are coming up; we are hoping for better prices this year,” he was quoted as saying.

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Category: Breaking News, Leaf, Markets

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