Tobacco sales open April 12
This year’s tobacco selling season starts on April 12, with the opening of the Lilongwe Auction Floors, the Tobacco Commission (TC) has announced.
President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to open the market.
Traditionally, the start of the tobacco selling season spells good news for forex-broke Malawi as it opens up the taps for tobacco dollars to start flowing.
Briefing reporters in Lilongwe on Thursday, TC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Chidanti Malunga said preparations for the opening are at an advanced stage.
According to Malunga, second round crop estimates indicate that the country has produced 126 million kg of the green gold.
He said the country should expect a new tobacco buyer this year, bringing the total number of buyers to 10.
He was, however, quick to note that the authorities are still computing the minimum prices for the leaf.
This year, tobacco growers produced the leaf using very expensive inputs as the price of fertiliser rocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“As you know, the minimum prices is a process which starts by calculating the cost of production. I am sure you know that there are a lot of things that go into cost of production, including inputs. But it is not only inputs. There are so many things such as land, labour and so many other things,” Chidanti Malunga said.
AHL Group Chief Executive Officer Alfred Nkhono said after opening the Lilongwe Floors on April 12, the Chinkhoma Market in Kasungu will open on April 13, the Limbe Auction Floors will open on April 17 while the Mzuzu Action Floors will open on May 2.