Tobacco marketing season at the Limbe Auction Floors in Blantyre was on Thursday morning suspended following disagreements over prices and increased rejection rate.
Some farmers at the auction floors reached out to Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha pleading with him for better prices arguing the minimum $0.80 (about MK582) that is being offered is far too low.
Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) lamented that tobacco prices have remained stagnant for the past 25 years despite the cost of farm inputs surging.
Mwanamvekha held discussions with stakeholders and agreed that the farmer should bring back the bales that were rejected and that there should be an increase of minimum prices.
The Limbe Auction Floors reopens for afternoon marketing.
Meanwhile, National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi (Nasfam) has asked government to gazette the removal of three percent withholding tax on tobacco proceeds from less than 10 bales to avoid its reintroduction
.This follows the announcement by President Peter Mutharika last Thursday at Lilongwe Floors during the opening of this year’s Tobacco Marketing Season that government will remove the tax as tobacco growers play an important role in the economy; hence, their efforts have to be appreciated.
Tobacco is one of the country’s important cash crops, contributing about 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings and about 13 percent to the national economy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :