Tobacco farmers in the country have rebuffed a newly imposed Integrated Production System (IPS), introduced recently to sell the crop, saying it’s dangerous.
The system allows farmers to grow tobacco only on contract basis with the government.
A petition has since been presented to government. One of the signees of the petition Akunkwindira Mpinganjira said “the IPS is killing the Auction System of buying tobacco.”
According to the petition, the system “is exploiting and dangerous to Malawi local farmers.”
Salima North West legislator Jessie Kabwila told the current sitting of parliament that the IPS was indeed reaping on the farmers.
But agriculture minister Allan Chiyembekeza was unmoved by the farmers’ request.
“They are free to join the system or not,” he said.
A farmer in Dowa, whom Nyasa Times visited, showed us 150 bales of tobacco which he alleged could not be sold “due to discrepancies in the system.”
He added: “Knowing that I was desperate, some tobacco buyers came to me wanting to get the bales at K6 000.”
Malawi is an agro-based economy with more than 60 per cent of her foreign exchange coming from the tobacco exports.