Malawi tobacco growers in despair

| June 21, 2016

Malawi tobacco growers operating through the Limbe Auction Floors have asked the government for permission to sell their leaf abroad because of the high rate of tobacco rejection at the market, according to a story in The Nyasa Times.

The growers, mostly from Mayaka in Zomba, say they are baffled with the high tobacco rejection rate, calling it unprecedented.

“They have rejected my tobacco seven times yet the quality is very good,” said Amos Mangani. “We don’t know what they are looking for.”

Francis Chaweza said he had offered 40 bales of tobacco at the start of the market but that none had been bought.

“They should just give us permission to sell abroad so that we can recover the money we borrowed to grow the tobacco and pay for the labor during farming,” Chaweza said.

Meanwhile, Robert Muheya said that in his house there was no food; only creditors on his neck.

“The government can just come in and buy our tobacco even at 40 cents per kilogram; we are in despair now – we can allow anything as long as we get anything for our food,” Muheya said.

Officials from Limbe Auction Floors refused to comment on these stories, saying they were in discussions with tobacco buyers.

Malawi’s President, Peter Mutharika, on Wednesday made a surprise visit to Chinkhoma Tobacco market in Kasungu.

The unstable tobacco prices and the high rejection rate are partly to blame for Malawi’s shrinking and volatile economy, according to economists.

Category: Breaking News

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