Growers switch to dark fired tobacco
Some tobacco farmers in Traditional Authority Chakhaza in Dowa have opted to grow dark fired tobacco instead of burley tobacco.
Dark fired is one of the tobacco varieties that tobacco farmers have been shunning over the years.
Justin Mzindo, who has been contracted by Limbe Leaf, said dark fired is better off in earnings unlike burley.
“I have been growing burley tobacco over the years but the low prices offered at the auction floors made me struggle economically. This forced me to move from tobacco farming to other crop production.
“However, in 2014, I was contracted by Limbe Leaf to grow dark fired tobacco. My earnings were good and this year I have also planted dark fired,” he said.
Mzindo said demand for dark fired is high on the market while the supply is low, forcing the prices to be higher.
He said from the crop he has produced this year, he expects to earn over K500,000 after paying back his loan to Limbe Leaf.
Another farmer, Martha Maiden, said dark fired is currently the only type of tobacco that can change farmer’s lives.
She said prices offered at the auction are always good and chances of making a loss are very minimal.
“With dark fired tobacco, farmers cannot go wrong. However, we are told that burley tobacco is on high demand on the global market hence more farmers produce burley tobacco,” said Maiden.
She said she expects to produce 15 bales of dark fired tobacco and earn about K1million.