Tobacco selling on Monday started on a good note at Kanengo Auction Floors in Lilongwe following a week of poor prices, high rejection rate and violence as tobacco farmers on Thursday literally chased away buyers from the market.
Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) chief executive officer Albert Changaya said prices ranged from 80 cents to 140 cents, saying this was much better than last week.
He also said the rejection rate was hovering around 73 per cent down from 80 per cent last week.
“There is improvement this week, we hope this will hold,” he said, adding the contract leaf was fetching as high as US$2.
“This is encouraging. Buyers have also increased volumes of tobacco tey are buying. There is hope of improvement,” he said.
Last week the tobacco market at Kanengo was suspended twice after farmers run amok, chasing buyers out of the market, threatening to beat them up for the low tobacco prices
However, contract tobacco farmers blamed their auction tobacco counterparts for deliberately causing the violence to disturb the market out of sheer jealousy because the contract tobacco was fetching higher prices because it s of high quality.
Tobacco Control Commission officials brokered peace between the buyers and farmers that has led to the opening of the market o Monday.