The Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) has asked the government to set a minimum price of $2 for tobacco next year, suggesting the misfortunes that have characterised this year’s tobacco market is on account of low prices being offered for the leaf.
Tama President, Rueben Maigwa, said farmers spend a lot of money on farm inputs necessitating good prices for the leaf if they are to remain sustainable.
“Good prices will motivate farmers to continue growing the crop which is still key to the economy. But when prices are too low, we cannot recoup production costs,” he said.
Maigwa described this year’s tobacco market as very disappointing to farmers. An oversupply of the leaf has seen buyers failing to absorb all the leaf which made its way to the auction floors.
Currently, 25 million kilogrammes is yet to be sold.
Growers have since set their demand for next season at 151 million kilogrammes.
According to Auction Holdings Limited, as of Monday this week, the country had sold 161 million kilogrammes of all types of tobacco, realising a total K243 billion at an average price of $1.50 per kilogramme.