The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has unveiled a new tobacco buyer – Protrade Group Limited – with anticipation that it will create competition among the buyers thereby increasing demand and prices.
Speaking after unveiling the company, the Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe said Malawi needs more tobacco buyers.
But Lowe was quick to urge tobacco buyers to offer farmers good prices for this year’s tobacco considering that farmers have been mistreated when it comes tobacco prices for a long time.
He said the coming in of buyers means that there will be a competition on the market, which will enable farmers to sell their crop in larger quantities and at a good price.
He added that the unveiling of indigenous companies is also very encouraging because the buyers will be able to get to know Malawian farmers, which clearly shows that 2023 will bring more buyers.
“Tobacco Commission has done a good job by making sure that they qualify for the licence .The issue of the market is about the leaf .They should be mindful of the quality because sometimes farmers mixed grades of tobacco. My message to the farmer is that they should make sure that they have graded their tobacco so that they can sell it at a good price,” he explained.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer for Tobacco Commission Dr Chidanti Malunga said the Commission wants to see the company grow to set an example for the coming generation and asked farmers to be prepared for the market.
On his part, Protrade Group Limited Managing Director Lodzani Fatchi said that they are more than ready to buy Tobacco this year and they believe that they are going to add Value to the Tobacco industry.
Fatchi added that looking at the estimate and number of buyers; they are expecting to buy at least 10 million kilogrammes.
“We have everything in place and we are ready to go to the market. We have buyers all over the country. So, we think what we have will be able to participate and succeed,” he explained.