Kasungu farmers to petition Mutharika over poor tobacco prices

Tobacco farmers in central district of Kasungu have agreed to petition President Peter Mutharika to do “something” against poor prices from tobacco buyers.

This follows farmer’s discontentment on pricing and high rejection rate.

Poor prices and high rejection rates punctuating the tobacco marketing season
Poor prices and high rejection rates punctuating the tobacco marketing season

The farmers have therefore resorted to engage the  Head of State so that he should bargain for better prices on their behalf.

With the low prices, the farmers through their representative, John Gwetsere, claimed that they will not be able to service loans they obtained from money lending institutions.

“Farmers will not benefit anything from the prices they are getting, its a raw deal. We need the intervention of the president in as far tobacco prices are concerned,” said Gwetsere.

Meanwhile, the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has extended this year tobacco marketing season for Lilongwe Auction Floors.

There is also possibly of the same for Mzuzu Auction, according to TCC chief executive officer Dr Bruce Munthali.

Munthali claimed that over production has negatively affected pricing and led to high rejection rate of the leaf currently at 40-50 percent.

According to Munthali, the country has produced 188 873 million kg of tobacco attracting $356 525 million this year as compared to 165 million kg fetching $355 million at the same time in 2013.

“The 23 million kg difference is due to overproduction of flue cured tobacco,” he said.

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