Tobacco future continues to look smoky in Malawi

Officials from the tobacco industry are not sure when the buying season will come to an end but said the future of the gold leaf  in Malawi still looks smoky and foggy.

TCC Chief Executive Officer Dr Albert Changaya: Increased threat based on a concerted plan

TCC Chief Executive Officer Dr Albert Changaya: Smoky future for Malawi tobacco

AHL Group corporate affairs minister Mark Ndipita said tobacco has raked in K103 billion so far compared to K153 billion same time last year.

“To be frank, there is no hope in tobacco. The  rejection rate remains with Kanengo Auction Floors registering 75% rejection rate, Limbe registering 81% and Mzuzu registering 53%.,” said Ndipita.

He said tobacco prices remains to be low and that the high rejection rate coupled with low tobacco prices are forcing farmers to keep their tobacco.

“There is more tobacco out there so it is not possible to predict when the buying season will come to an end,” he said.

Tobacco Control Commission chief executive officer Albert Changaya said the tobacco industry is now introducing quota system starting from next year to deal with the high rejection rate of tobacco.

He said the Tobacco Control Commission and the ministry of Agriculture will do a countrywide census for tobacco farmers and each farmer will be given the number of kilograms to grow.

“The tobacco buyers have already told us how much tobacco they will need next year so from the figure, we will know how much kilograms each farmer should grow,” he said.

Finance minister Goodall Gondwe has told Malawians to grow more legumes which he said has a lot of market in Asia.

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2 thoughts on “Tobacco future continues to look smoky in Malawi”

  1. Perhaps it’s time to start looking for other uses for the crop. South African Airways run the first ever flight powered by aviation fuel made from tobacco and the story is here: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/20/africa/tobacco-jets-south-africa.

    The company that makes the aviation fuel, SkyNRG, seems has plans to expand into other African countries including Malawi for the raw material but that obviously is in years to come and also depending on the success of the tests and adoption levels of airlines to the fuel.

    So there still could be hope yet for the crop but this is where research in our universities would really help. Sometimes it is not really a matter of diversifying the type of crops to grow but finding other uses for them. It would be great if say we could come up with a way to make vehicle fuel out of tobacco. If a jet engine can run on tobacco, so a car engine would I think.

    1. simon mulliner says:

      Tobacco derived fuel poses a threat to the dominance of the oil and gas industry and the revenue and taxes it generates

      Oil and gas producing governments would be alarmed at the prospect of an alternative energy resource even if such a source might be environmentally more friendly and help lower greenhouse gases

      At least South African Airways has shown that there is an alternative use for tobacco and this would allow tobacco growing regions to sustain a rural population in situ instead of a rural migration trend into towns and cities with the added social and economic pressures on such an urban landscape

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