Tobacco growers’ earnings from the sales of tobacco at the auction floors are expected to drop by US$62 million following poor sales and reduced prices experienced on the market this year.
Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Munthali, disclosed this during the week in an interview at the Limbe Auction Floors during a tour by Minister of Agriculture Allan Chiyembekeza.
Munthali said tobacco sales are expected to earn the growers just US$300 million by the end of sales in a few weeks’ time, down from US$362 million they realised last year.
“Currently, we are at US$256 million and we are confident of hitting the US$300 million mark,” said Munthali.
He attributed the anticipated drop to a shrink in tobacco volumes this year as a result of heavy rains and floods that hit most tobacco-producing districts in January this year.
Last year, Malawi produced 168 million kilogrammes of the green gold.
This year, however, production is expected to be lower at just above 150 million kgs.
Chiyembekeza said although some growers were facing problems in selling their crop, government will make sure that the entire crop produced is sold.
Over the past couple of months, there has been a strong cold war between auction growers and buyers with the growers accusing the buyers of favouring contracted growers at the expense of everyone else on the market.
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