Mzuzu Auction Floors has opened on a good note with the highest price for Flue cured tobacco selling at $4.35 (about K3, 110.00) and Barley tobacco selling at a highest price of $2.20 about (K1,573.00) per kilogramme.
Opening the floors, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Aggrey Masi, said this year’s leaf is of high quality because of good rains, increased use of certified seed of improved tobacco varieties and good crop management.
He said the importance of tobacco to Malawi economy cannot be over- emphasized as it contributes significantly to the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
The deputy minister said this is the reason why government still promotes tobacco production because it is a crop of strategic importance that economically empowers farmers.
“In this regard you are all aware that government has ensured that the key policy reforms including Integrated Production System (IPS) review of the Tobacco Act, the new tobacco grower registration system and investment in value addition are prioritized,” he said.
According to Masi, reforms in the tobacco industry are intended to support the establishment of a transformative framework that will help address systemic bottlenecks in the industry, thereby stimulating increase in productive capacity and enhancing linkages to the market.
He assured farmers that government will continue with the reforms in order to create a win-win situation between the buyers and the farmers
“My expectation is that you should be matching quality with reasonable prices. These farmers deserve better prices for them to re-invest in the tobacco enterprise this coming growing season,” Masi appealed to the buyers.
Chairperson of Tobacco Control Commission Inkosi Ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V admitted that this year’s selling season has started on a good note, attributing the development to government’s decision to control
“As a result of controlled production, forces of demand and supply are at play and good prices are coming up, we are hoping for better prices this year,” he said.
The Mzimba Chief despised the tendency of mixing tobacco with non-tobacco related materials and bringing moist tobacco to the market as a big challenge the auction floors face each marketing year.
Group Village Headman Kapatakafinyi, a farmer himself from Bolero in Rumphi, said he was happy with the prices and hoped that the trend would continue throughout the marketing season.
This year’s tobacco marketing season was opened on April 11,2017 at Kanengo Auction floors by President Peter Mutharika.
Mzuzu Auction Floors initially was supposed to open on May 3, 2017, but delayed due to low inflow of tobacco bales.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :