Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe this morning paid an unexpected visit to Kanengo Auction Floors in Lilongwe where business had come to a standstill as farmers protested high rejection rates and poor prices the buyers offered for the green gold.
The tobacco market was temporarily suspended over what farmers complained to be “continued low prices on offer”.
Lowe rushed to the floors after being tipped about the development. He said he found some buyers offering as low as 50 cents per kilogramme, which is below the government’s set minimum prices for the crop.
“This is sad that currently farmers are getting as low as 50 cents on their tobacco. What we are asking is to simply adjust the prices upwards,” he said.
Lowe urged the buyers to comply with the country’s laws in dealing with the farmers by offering improved prices for the leaf.
AHL Sales Chief Executive Officer Graham Kunimba said the rejection rate has hit 70 percent. He said this is alarming.
Kunimba asked the buyers to increase their prices.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :