By Emmanuel Simpokolwe:
Tobacco sales officially opened yesterday at Chinkhoma Auction Floors in Kasungu but only trading contract tobacco from JTI and Limbe Leaf while auctioning market will be delayed by a week due to Covid-19.
During the opening day the highest quality leaf fetched at $2.40 surpassing the highest price of the open day at the Lilongwe Auction floors on Monday which was at $2.30. Tobacco Commission Chief Executive Officer, Kaisi Sadala expressed satisfaction with trends on first days of the season.
He said since opening of the Lilongwe Auction Floors on Monday, on average, the green gold is fetched at $1.70 per Kg, which is an increase from last year’s average price of $1.43 per kg. “Of course, growers will always complain but I think overall we are seeing an improvement and we hope that as we move forward and as more buyers will be joining, there will be much competition and the prices will be better,” Sadala said.
He said cases of having non-tobacco related materials in some bales remained rampant. “We have adopted the secret bidding system and because the system is new, we thought that it is important for the people to get used first so we are working on it in Lilongwe so that whatever shortfalls are there are rectified so that by the time we come here everybody is aware what is happening,” he said.
Tobacco Association of Malawi Trust Chief Executive Officer, Felix Thole, said he was impressed with how the market has started.
Controller of Agricultural Services in the Ministry of Agriculture Alexander, Bulilani said there is need to sensitise growers on new systems on the market.
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