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Tobacco buyer upbeat on 2019 market stability

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

One of the country’s tobacco buying companies, JTI Leaf Malawi, has said it expects a stable market this season and would buy all its contracted tobacco.

JTI Leaf Malawi Corporate Affairs and Communications Director, Limbani Kakhome, said this in Lilongwe on Wednesday ahead of the opening of the 2019 tobacco marketing season on April 25.

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He could, however, not specify the volume of tobacco that the company would buy this season.

“As a company we are prepared to buy all the tobacco as per the agreed contracted volumes with our growers. However, we trained our growers to stick to the hectarage given; we have also engaged our growers to provide us with leaves from all the plant positions but we are looking at 50 percent lower leaf and 50 percent upper leaf.

“The challenge we had last year was that some growers were providing us with leaves from one plant position while neglecting the other position. This had repercussions in that our system rejected some tobacco,” Kakhome said.

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A JTI contracted grower, Kondwani Harawa, from Mwazisi in Rumphi District said he was looking forward a very successful marketing season.

“We have been taken through the type of tobacco JTI wants this year in this regard, the company provided us with extensive extension services from the start of the tobacco crop season right through to the end in order for us to deliver quality tobacco,” Harawa said.

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