Mutharika warns tobacco buyers on prices collusion: Opens Malawi market

President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday opened the 2017 Malawi tobacco selling season at the Lilongwe Auction Floors and warned tobacco buyers against collusion.

Tobacco auctioning in progress at Lilongwe Auction floors (C)Stanley Makuti
President Peter Mutharika is led on a tour of Lilongwe Auction Floors and witness tobacco ayc …tioning in progress (C) Stanley Makuti
Tobacco in Lilongwe aution floors ready for sale (C) Stanley Makuti

“I will be monitoring the selling floors closely to ensure that your so called market prices are more than the protected ones,” Mutharika said.

The President emphasised that  tobacco farmers need to get better prices for their leaf and there should be no illegal agreement, between stakeholders who attempt to manipulate prices or disrupt the market – Collusion.

Collusion  involves companies or people that would typically compete but who choose to conspire or work together, that way securing an unfair market advantage.

The President said he was concerned about the increase in cases of illegal cross border trade in various crops, including maize and tobacco among others.

He added that it is depressing to note that those involved are Malawians, a clear indication of lack of patriotism on their part.  “The practice is illegal and must stop”.

Mutharika ordered the Malawi Defence Force to deploy troops along border posts suspected to be used by smugglers of maize and tobacco and take to task anyone involved in the malpractice.

“I appeal to the communities in border areas, and the Malawi Police Service to support the efforts of the Malawi Defence Force in combating this illegal practice. We should all of us show that we love our country by collectively dealing with this problem effectively and decisively,”  Mutharika ordered.

The country’s leader said it is his hope that this 2017 tobacco marketing season would be smooth and of great benefit to the tobacco growers and Malawians in general.

“My expectations are that you will be running both the contract (IPS) and auction marketing systems side by side on a daily basis. My understanding is that tobacco farmers have already chosen which system they will be patronizing this marketing season,” he said.

Mutharika appealed to all tobacco buyers to effectively participate in both systems and urged each one of the buyers to play their part in the most fair and considerate manner.

Chairperson for Auction Holdings Limited Group, Margaret Roka Mauwa said the opening of the floors max the begging of the very important activity in the economy of the country.

She said the trading of tobacco which still remains the major cash crop of the country has been a strong major of the country’s performance in the economy in recent times.

“The performance of tobacco selling in the last season was very disappointing; most farmers lose their money as they could hardly cover expenses during the growing and selling of the crop. Some of them spend months sleeping at the auction waiting for their tobacco to be sold,” She said.

Mauwa said this was due to poor prices which prevailed throughout the season and urged the country to not continue to relying only on one crop as revenue resource.

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5 years ago

Bwana APM ,please investigate DR Moses the DPO mu Central Medical Stores, very corrupt, aku mpereka macontracts under buy malawi campaign to Malawi pharmacies and other entities . Mitengo alipo more then double and katundu is overbought and will just expire. That is reason DHO hospitals budget has finsihed, as Central medical stores prices are more then double from last year

5 years ago
Reply to  chikondi

A Chikondi, kodi amene mukuti Dr Moseswo (DPO Central Medical Stores Trust) alibe first name or at least initial yawo? One would think you really don’t know the person, so please be detailed when making a serious allegation.

5 years ago

Mlimi abeledwenso tsopano regardless the toil. From the meagre price offered without bargaining the following must be immediately deducted:
1) Taxes
2) Bank loans for inputs
4) Tree loans
5) Tokenism to buyers
6. etc etc

Vuto la ulimi wa fodya ulingati umfiti. Umavuta kusiya

An Emerging Voice
An Emerging Voice
5 years ago

The issue of tobacco pricing has to be looked into with sober minds. Malawi should learn to be market oriented in producing tobacco. The Agriculture Ministry should be able to monitor the global trends in tobacco production and advise the farmers on how much they should produce. Producing high quality leaf by following good agricultural practices can also help our farmers to have a high chance of fetching high prices at the floors. Elimination of vendors and intermediary buyers will also be beneficial in the long term to the smallholder farmer. Finally, constant monitoring of the prices at the floors… Read more »

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