By Chrissy Litete
Blantyre:Mana: Tobacco Commission (TC) Chief Executive Officer Dr Chidanti Malunga on Friday said this years tobacco prices are high despite the drop down in production volume due to shortage of rainfall in past growing season.
During a media interaction in Blantyre, Malunga said in this years season the prices of tobacco have tremendously gone high.
“We are very excited with the price of high grade tobacco which has picked up from the average price of $1.06 to $2 per kilogram and the price of low grade tobacco has also picked up from 96 cents to $1.76 cents,” said Malunga.
He additionally indicated that since the opening of Lilongwe Auction Floor on the March 31st this year, the commission had sold 13milion kilograms, mounting to $26milion through auction compared to contract farming which generated more sales in the past unlike auctioning.
He also said that; “We believe that we will sell up to 100 million kilograms of tobacco even though the buyers requested for 161 million kilograms of tobacco. So far, there is also no rejection of tobacco on the market”.
Malunga therefore encouraged the growers to grade their tobacco properly and grow good grade as it affects pricing.
He added if farmers do not adhere to this then chances are high that the buyers will neglect Malawi and get the green gold from neighboring countries such as Zambia and Tanzania.
Malunga said the commission will start registering growers for the next season from June this year adding they were anticipating registering close to 50,000 tobacco growers.