The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC( has approved a list of 25 commercial tobacco graders to grade this years tobacco leaf popularly known as Malawi gold.
Both TCC Chief Executive Officer Kaisi Sadala and his deputy Levi Phelani confirmed the development but could not be drawn to disclose how many had applied to offer the service this year.
Speaking in a brief interview with Nyasa Times, Sadala said it is important that stakeholders and growers work with the listed tobacco graders because it is easy to mediate incase of misunderstandings.
Pherani on the other hand said the number that applied to offer the service was much higher but as with any tender process there is a cap it hence selection of the 25.
According to a statement from TCC there are three graders for Limbe which are Tobacco Association of Malawi, Tobacco Investment Limited and Modern Tobacco Grader.
Mzuzu has six and these are Nortern Tobacco Grader, Northern Tobacco Grader, Khama Lathu Grading, Talika Grading, Tobacco Investment Limited and Kamaka Tobacco Grading.
Chinkhoma has eight and they include Goood Hope Grading, B and N Grading, TAMA, TObacco Investment LimiteD, Kalimanjitra Grading, Msondole Grading and Lulu Grading.
Lilongwe also has eight and they are Mteza Grading, Tobacco Association of Malawi, Malembo Grading, Chiungo Grading, Tikonde Grading, Luntha Grading, Pempho Grading and Mtema Grading.
Pherani could also not disclose when the next tobacco selling season is going to open saying it is government prerogative.
“We will wait for government on that one,” he added.