By Brenda Kayo:
A team of experts from the Tobacco Commission (TC), Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) Trust and representatives of other tobacco stakeholders on Monday began a three-week long assessment of the leaf’s development to ascertain production volumes of the crop this season.
TC spokesperson Telephorus Chigwenembe told Times Business that the information from the exercise is essential for the tobacco industry.
“Every year, we have three rounds of crop surveys. The results of the first estimate survey do not review the actual projection of the particular year’s production because there are more than two surveys that need to be undertaken” Chigwenembe said.
Tama Trust President Abel Kalima Banda said he was impressed with the interest shown by farmers to produce the crop this farming season.
Banda said farmers are expected to produce quality harvest this year as compared to last year.
“We expect a good season. The weather has, so far, been favourable for tobacco production.
Last year, there was low production but this season we expect a better harvest because farmers have shown more interest in tobacco and we expect to produce quantities matching the registered quantities,” Banda said.
Crop estimate surveys are an annual exercise that provide information that the tobacco industry and the government use for planning purposes.
Among other things, the results of the surveys contribute to annual forex earnings projections for the country.
In the 2021- 22 farming season, Malawi sold 85 million kilogrammes of all types of tobacco, realising $168 million.
Farmers that have registered to grow the green gold this year are expected to produce 170 million kilograms.
Tobacco remains the country’s main forex earner.