Malawi tobacco buyers go on leave as leaf regulators bring in new buyers

Tobacco buyers have gone on summer holiday, leaving huge tonnes of unbought leaf prompting the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) to invite three more buyers.

TCC Chief Executive Officer Dr Albert Changaya: Increased threat based on a concerted plan
TCC Chief Executive Officer Dr Albert Changaya: Buyers oon leave

TCC general manager Albert Changaya confirmed the government has invited a Chinese firm, Chinese Monopoly, an Egyptian company, Eastern company and the Japanese JTI.

“They have said they are looking into our request but we are hopeful they will come in to help buy the remaining tobacco,” he said.

He faulted farmers for overgrowing tobacco which has made it saturate on the market.

Changaya said this year the tobacco farmers grew 59 million kilograms instead of 39 million kilograms, saying this is why more tobacco is still not bought.

He said although the tobacco buyers are on leave, all the leaf will be sold by August end or September.

Tobacco sales have this year suffered high rejection rate of as high as 80 per cent as well as low tobacco sales.

The government is now searching for another crop, including industrial hemp to replace tobacco as the main stay of Malawi economy.

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