TCC says Malawi Kwacha gain setback in tobacco selling

While some economic commentators describe it as a positive, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) says the appreciation of the Malawi Kwacha against the dollar is a negative for tobacco farmers in the ongoing tobacco selling season.

Dr Bruce Munthali TCC CEO speaking to the press after opening the  Chinkoma aucttion floors in Kasungu

Dr Bruce Munthali TCC CEO speaking to the press after opening the Chinkoma aucttion floors in Kasungu

Inkosi Ya Makosi M'mbelwa Five  speaking at Chinkhoma auction floors

Inkosi Ya Makosi M’mbelwa Five speaking at Chinkhoma auction floors

The kwacha is trading at K441.803 against the US dollar as of Friday in the country’s commercial banks, Nyasa Times found out.

TCC board chairperson Inkosi ya Makosi M’belwa V said the phenomenon is “complex” because farmers buy farm inputs when the currency is at a depreciated rate and when time to sell comes the kwacha appreciates.

He said at Chinkhoma Auction Floors in Kasungu where he accompanied agriculture minister Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza for the inauguration of this year’s tobacco marketing season.

M’belwa said, as a result, farmers are being driven into the oblivion of poverty, therefore, not reaping from their investments.

“Also, our farmers are charged highly on farm inputs and I’m asking our tobacco buyers to address this problem in order to lessen the burden of or farmers,” he said.

Chiyembekeza corroborated M’belwa’s sentiments saying his ministry is always open to hear from farmers.

He also urged farmers to avoid being “violent whenever differences on pricing issues arise.”

In a separate interview with Nyasa Times, TCC Chief executive officer Bruce Munthali said the floors had opened on a good note.

“Buyers are buying the tobacco within the set prices,” he said.

The minimum set price for Burley tobacco is 85 cents but during the opening day the lowest bale fetched US$ 1.35 per kilogram while the highest sold at US$2.10 per kilo.

Malawi is an agro-based economy and tobacco, also referred to as the green gold in Malawi, is the country’s main forex earner.

President Peter Mutharika has expressed commitment that his government will further intensify the promotion of agricultural diversification for farmers to gradually start switching from tobacco to other economically viable enterprises.

Apparently, Mutharika’s direction is in line with recent calls by anti-smoking campaigners.

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31 thoughts on “TCC says Malawi Kwacha gain setback in tobacco selling”

  1. ngala mountain says:

    Bruce Munthali ndi amene amauza aZUNGU kuti azigula alimi pa mtengo wotsika kumanamizira kuti kwacha yakwera mphamvu .Munthu woipa ameneyu adzafa imfa yowawa musiyeni .Nthawi zonse ali minimum price ndi $0.85 .osawasiya a zungu kuti agule fodya pa mtengo umene akufuna ,koma chi Munthalichi kuchita kuwaletsa azungu kuti asadutse $2.10 .Ife tidzangosiya kulima fodyayo tiwone udzasowe omuzunza.Tatopa ndikubweredwa.koma tikati tikagulitse fodya ku Zambia kumene kuli mitengo yabwino mumatilanda fodya tisiyeni tikagulitse fodya wathu pa $8.50 KU zAMBIA KUMENE SABWERA ALIMI STUPID Munthali

  2. Maxwell Nsani says:

    There is no tsamunda dictating our kwacha fluctuations as the others have said. its simple demand and supply. Play your role in making the diversification mantra come to reality, that way the appreciation of the kwacha does not only happen during the tobacco selling season. Encourage more tea, coffee, paprika, and many others after the tobacco market or along side it, so that we do not have a forex drought annually after the tobacco season is over. This is what Bingu used to call `…a basket of products`. Some of the current ministers were there when he used to talk about this, what have you done at cabinet level to make this happen?

    And to our tobacco farmers, buy your inputs NOW!! Not in October and November when the kwacha starts slipping again! prioritise. Kaya mumagula pangongole, start processing your ngongole now and stock up on your products. Form groups and let every farmer chip in so that you can buy large quantities as a group, rent some storage space to keep your inputs as you wait for growing season. Be proactive!

    If someone is really trying to steal from you with this currency thing, lets see after you have taken these corrective measures. And someone, please talk to the Inkosi ya makosi Mbelwa and explain to him how this tobacco selling season vs depreciation works, that way he can speak from a position of knowledge next time. Good luck

  3. kadokera says:

    Bruce umangodziwa kutumidza abale ako ku Taiwan and China for fake degrees, athandize alimi a fodya.

  4. james says:

    Njira ya bwino alimi azigulitu zipangizo nthawi yomweyo akugulitsa fodyayo.

  5. Kennedy nali says:

    Chamba, mukukhumba kubela walimi eti? Kweni vyiru ku malawi kwali ine. Chiuta wamulangeni nakuba kwinu.

  6. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    A malawi ena ndi obvuta. Kuti Kwacha igwe ayambanso ndi iwowo kudandaula chabwino ndi chiti? Mukufuna President atani. Anzanu tikukondwera kwacha ikamamera mizu.

  7. malawiana says:

    We have been hearing this story of diversification for ages now and no progress on the cards. Reason is that the government departments responsible are technically dead with no vision. Agriculture extension services are dead, departments of SMEs and Industry at Ministry of Trade died long time ago. So who is going to champion this diversification? The President?

  8. point blank says:

    It looks like Malawians are beginning to get back to their senses or the noise makers were a political party sect. I remember during the same period last year all insults went to the President. But today people are making reasonable comments if they’re not being partisan. Learn to understand dynamics of trade.

  9. soko says:

    chaka china alimife tidzangopangane osalima fodya. Tidzavutika koma boma lidzagwa. Aliyense amene akufuna kugula katundu kunja nyengo yake ndiino alimi osauka omwe alima fodya zaka 20 koma alibe ngakhale nyumba abweretsa dollar yotchipa. U can fool people some of the time, not always

  10. Mchikumbe #5 says:

    The problem in Malawi is that we have a Tobacco ControLLED Commission not a Tobacco ControL Commission!

  11. mphwache wa bingu says:

    I know that farmers and many Malawians have little understanding of economics. Simply put when you sell more you also gain more: we are selling tobacco to other countries and that brings in more dollars into our economy. The more dollars we have the more powerful our currency becomes. This is called appreciation of the local currency. The situation reverses when we sell less: after the tobacco season. We are heavily affected by the global economy. An export based economy has a powerful currently and visa versa. Farmers have to know that there won’t be any changes to this so buy your inputs now

  12. goverment of malawi being controlled by bwampini

  13. Olobodoka says:

    Tisamanamizane amalawi apa.

  14. fkr says:

    If you really think about it. where did the Kwacha come from? was it not the colonialist that brought it to Malawi. when Malawi became a protectorate of the empire we had the British pound. then when we lost our membership too the empire the pound was taken away and replaced with the Kwacha. Why , because the colonialist knew that we could not handle our own currency and it would devaluate as our government printed more and more kwacha with no value. The great leader Mugabe realised this and quickly changed to the US$ to save zimbabwe from collapse. If we changed to the US$ we would be rich because then we don’t have stupid banks making money Every time a exchange currency. tobacco farmers would have less expense for currency changes. The western media made zimbabwe look stupid but who is the clever one for getting out of the colonial currency, Mugabe has 8 degree our president only has one…..who is more clever?

  15. admarc says:

    Just like ADMARC, lowering prices at time of harvesting. Shit policies.

  16. Bokonomiks says:

    It appears the concept of demand and supply eludes most Malawians

  17. Justice Dzonzi says:

    I don’t think it’s tobacco buyers who decide on kwacha – dollar exchange rate. The central bank with the intermediaries these being the malawi banks drive these exchange rates differentials and profit while the poor farmer can’t even afford a bicycle

  18. Kinyentu says:

    Why does the Kwacha only appreciate during tobacco season and then depreciate immediately the season,tikulolelanji kuti atsamunda azitibela…why are we letting these oppressors continue exploiting us??in mozambique,zambia&zimbabwe the minimum price for tobacco is $5&here $2 a kilo?

    1. namacherenga says:

      The price of a dollar is determined by supply and demand. During tobacco sales there are more dollars on the market and the Kwacha appreciates. After tobacco sales the dollars are used to import inputs and the supply dwindles and demand sores, hence the Kwacha depreciates. It has nothing to do with Atsamunda. That’s what happens to a floated currency.

  19. john says:

    Komadi Bruce Munthali wakhalisa ku TCC. Govt should only allow CEOs to serve two terms.We have Linda Phiri NCIC, Victor Maliro Malawi Gaming Board,Devlin Chokazinga of Malawi Bureau of Standards,Matabwa of Auction Holdings Group,wa Southern Region Water Board and Mtegha of Northern Region Water Board.Akhalisa and all they do is kuzigulira malo when Govt changes.I think as part of reforms Govt should make it as a policy that they should CEOs should serve two terms basi not za lifetime izi.

    1. Mzuzuian says:

      I am a NRWB client and pleased with Titus Mtegha’s management style. He should stay on to complete the Chitipa and Chikanga catchment projects. One advice to Mtegha is to do more to stop charcoal burning on Kaning’ina. There are lots of houseworkers around the hill who engage in forest destruction.

  20. nobel says:

    Malawi for sale! Why is it that every selling season the kwacha depreciates? That is daylight robbery and this can not happen in the no nonsense Mugabe’s land. Malawians should rise up and demand better prices. It should start with our selfish politicians. Let Goodall Gondwe issue a statement or else Malawi farmers will continue suffering in their own mother land.

  21. koma Umbuli? says:

    It is my wish that farmers should also learn from the trend of Kwacha appreciation vis a vis farm input prices. Mlimi akagulitsa fodya amati adzipepetse, amayamba kunyenga mahule, kukwatira mkazi wina, kumwa ma crates a mowa komaso kutchona mutauni. Tiyeni tipange priotise za fertiliser ndi zinanzina za ulimi before rainy season.

  22. honourable says:

    In Zimbabwe the minimum is $2.00 and maximum is $5.50 /kg and some few beyond this as am talking this last Friday. Are we growing the same type of tobacco or wat? Confused

    1. Tsiripas says:

      The zim economy waz dollarlized. Hence the difference

    2. namacherenga says:

      Zimbabwe is a Flue cured tobacco country and we are a Burley tobacco country, that’s the difference. The two tobaccos are different.

  23. Mhesha says:

    Kodi contract ya mkulu ameneyu wa TCC idzatha liti? It appears it’s for life and he has been doing literally nothing to improve the standsrds of tobacco sales in the interest of Mw. He must have run out of ideas. What he onky knows best is good promises to the nation about more new buyers coming to the market hence expecting better prices! But why the cries?

  24. Mau Mau Inu a Inkosi M’mbelwa. Mwalankhula zanzeru kwabasi. Inetu sindimamvetsa Mpaka pano. Tikamagula Zipangizo za ulimi Kwacha amati yatsitsika mphamvu nthawi Ya misika akuti Kwacha yagena mphamvu. Uku kumakhala Kubalasa alimi.poyerayera.A Goodall Gondwe kodi simuonapo pamenepo kodi ndi economics yanji mudakaphunzira Inu.

  25. Hello! says:

    TCC, the best thing that you need to do is to fight for farmers so that their tobacco fetches more dollars instead of just complaining that the farmers will have less money. You are the ones who know pretty well how much farmers put into production yet you don’t bargain for the farmers so that they benefit from their farming. There is need for you to negotiate with the buyers on the minimum price that they can offer inorder for the farmers to break-even and earn some profits. Please let us help these farmers out of poverty. They work very hard the whole year only to sell their tobacco at give away prices. May God open the TCC’s eyes on this.

    1. Leveleve Nampwache says:

      What do you mean by “bargain” for farmers? Haven’t you heard that there are set minimum prices? Kumangokamba zopanda nzeru basi!

  26. frazer says:

    I agree with imkosi m’mbelwa, this tobacco buyers they take us for granted, each and every season when time to buy tobacco comes, u wl here the kwacha currency hav gained on the market against us dollar, bt once tobacco season comes to an end, the kwach becomes weak nd farm inputes prices becomes high. Really this so called white people they are not here to help us but to rob us.

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