Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) says it is optimistic that buyers will offer favourable prices for this year’s leaf. As President Peter Mutharika is scheduled to officially inaugurate the 2015 tobacco auctions sales on Wednesday.
Farmers want to get a better deal from the sales this year amidst complaints of exploitation.
Tama president Reuben Maigwa said comparatively, a drop in supply and an increase in demand for the green gold this season would boost chances of the leaf fetching better prices.
Maigwa said that additional buyers on the market give hope to the growers for improved prices for the crop.
“We expect the market to commence on a good note. More importantly we anticipate far much better prices for the leaf than the case was in the previous seasons,” he said.
He said estimates indicate that the lowest quality leaf may be bought at $1.75 per kilogramme.
Maigwa said despite a drop in crop quantity, growers are expected to produce high quality tobacco.
“We have evidence that enough tobacco is already at the market for commencement of sales and the leaf is of best quality,” said Maigwa.
Bruce Munthali, the Tobacco Control Commission’s chief executive, who complaied that sa lethal floods caused extensive damage to tobacco, the country’s leading hard currency earner, is encouraged ith the flow of the leaf to the markets.