Tobacco earnings at $35 million


Malawi has so far realised about $35 million from tobacco sales since the 2017 tobacco selling season started early last month.

Statistics from Auction Holdings Limited show that as at the end of trading on Friday, a total of 20,754,157 kilogrammes of the green gold had been sold at an average price of $1.75 per kilogramme.

The forex realised is partly behind the strengthening of the local unit, the kwacha against other major trading currencies. Currently, the kwacha is at K734 to the dollar.


Stakeholders feel the green gold will rake in more dollars this year than has been the case in recent times.

Malawi has this year produced about 124 million kilogrammes of all types of tobacco against the required demand of about 154 million kilogrammes.

Regulator, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) is also optimistic, rating the first four weeks of the sales as a success.


TCC Regional Manager for the South Willard Singo said in an interview on Tuesday that comparatively, there are fewer anomalies now on the market than was the case was during the same period last year.

“So far, the market has started very well and the average prices offered are better,” Singo said.

However, random interviews with some growers at the Limbe Auction floors found that the farmers are still dissatisfied with the prices on offer.

“I am not satisfied with the prices this far. Even though the prices are higher than last year, but they are still below our expectations,” Master Pichesi, a grower from Machinga, said.

On the day, Pichesi had traded three bales at a price range of 80 cents and $1.20.

Another farmer, Bamusi Bizwick from Machinga said while the prices are better than was the case last year; it is still likely that they would still register losses due to increased cost of inputs.

On the day, he sold 34 bales in the ranges of $1.40 and $1.50.

“This is not in line with our expectations and we are hopeful that the situation would improve as time passes,” Biziwick said.

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