Malawi loses out K11bn in tobacco sales

Tobacco sales in all the four auction floors continue to face problems ranging from low prices to high rejection rate forcing the country lose out K11 billion.

Ndipita: Tobacoc market faces huge challenges

Ndipita: Tobacoc market faces huge challenges

Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda (R) inspecting the leaf at Limbe Auction Floors

Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda (R) inspecting the leaf at Limbe Auction Floors

Mark Ndipita, Corporate Affairs Manager of Tobacco Control Commission said tobacco has so far raked in K16 billion since the markets opened five weeks ago. He said same period last year, the sales hit K27 billion.

“The market continues to face huge challenges. As you might be aware, the market experienced low tobacco prices and high rejection rate, this affected the sales,” he said.

He said since the market opened on April 13, farmers have sold 21 million kilograms of tobacco whilst same time last year they sold 30 kilograms.

Ndipita, however, said things are improving as the rejection rate on Wednesday stood at 47.8 per cent compared to the rejection rate at the opening which was at 70 per cent.

“We hope the tobacco prices will pick up so that the country can make a lot of money,” said Ndipita.

He said on Wednesday burley was selling at 89 cents per kilogram at auction floors at Kanengo whilst same type of tobacco on contract hit US$1.20.

President Peter Mutharika’s call for better prices, even his threats to visit the markets unannounced has fallen on deaf ears.


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It is time for Malawi to be extremely serious about other crops. In the West, there is a huge drive against smoking, therefore many farmers are not growing much, the price of cigarettes has been jacked up so high to discourage people from smoking. People can say all they want, but it is happening now and not stopping. Grow more of anything than tobacco there is more money in many other crops than people know.


Manja a Garforth pa Reading University kuchitira umboni. kkkk Mark Ndipitaaa

Tobacco prices are low due to tobacco companies allowed to keep 100% of there export proceeds, so they make more profit by hoarding the dollars in there local banks then buying and selling tobaccio, they then force the commercial banks to revise the rates to sell those dollars at exhorbitant rates, they are not interested in paying good prices. Reserve bank need to change the regulation back to 40% only allowed to keep export proceeds than the prices will go up for poor tobacco farmers. Please reserve bank consider us poor farmers as these tobacco buyers are exploiting us. Mundaganizira… Read more »



Everybody knows that tobacco is dead in Malawi. It will never bring much money any more. Government has been preaching this message for over 20 years. Why are the farmers failing to diversify and grow other crops?
We will keep crying about low prices and high rejection rates for a long time if we keep relying on Tobacco. Farmers, stop growing tobacco.

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