Second tobacco crop assessment next week
Stakeholders in the tobacco industry are from next week expected to commence second round crop assessment and results are expected to be ready by mid-March.
Regulator, the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), said the assessment will be done between February 26 and March 10.
Results for first round crop assessment released at the beginning of January showed that Malawi’s tobacco production is estimated at about 149 million kilogrammes (kg) this year, almost 12.8 percent less of the international market demand.
For the 2018 marketing season, buyers need 171 million kilogramme of all kinds of tobacco.
Commentators anticipate no change in the outlook.
However, in a recent interview, TCC Chief Executive Officer Kaisi Sadala, said the commission is optimistic that the estimates may change in the next crop assessment.
“At the time of the first crop assessment in mid-January, most of the crop, especially in the Southern Region, was affected by the dry spell. We are expecting that, with the advent of rainfall now, the picture should be different, when we are doing the last crop assessment,” Sadala said.
Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) Chief Executive Officer, Matthews Zulu, also said more precise figures may come out after the next round crop estimates.
Over 41,000 farmers had registered to grow the leaf as of early December, with a total registered quota of 162 million kilogrammes.
Revenue from the green gold slumped last year by 23 percent to $212 million from $275 million realised in 2016.
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