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Malawi tobacco sales realize MK20bn in 4wks amid Covid-19 spike

Sadala and Chauwa

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The ongoing 2020 tobacco marketing season in the last four weeks has realised about US$27,560,803.86 (MK20 billion).

This is 9% lower than 2019 over the period under review with tobacco volume of 17,970,662Kg sold.

But with improved average price of US$1.53/kg:13% higher than 2019 over the period under review.

However, the rejection rate still hunting farmers at above 40% on auction system.

Tobacco Commission (TC) Chief Executive Officer Kayisi Sadala on Thursday, May 21, 2020 told Media Network on Tobacco (MNT) that lower competition has necessitated high rejection rates at auction system.

Sadala disclosed that buyers are concentrating on securing their contracted stocks before participating fully on auction.

He added that due to Covid-19 spike, new Zimbabwe buyer failed to come to Malawi for business.

“New buying company (Voedsel) yet to start buying due to lockdown in Zimbabwe that restricted their travel,” says Sadala.

He outlines challenges, “Pressure from growers to witness the sales. In view of this development, the Commission is consulting industry stakeholders and will soon pronouncement on the matter. 

“Misunderstanding among some stakeholders on stance by the Commission in enforcing TIA leading to lawsuits. But we are satisfied that there is good progress on the market “.

Sadala observed that despite Coronavirus pandemic with preventive measures on the market has necessitated secret bidding under auction system which most farmers are not happy.

Media Network on Tobacco Chairperson Alfred Chauwa told the commission that his grouping got information that buyers are making high deductions on contract farmers which could have been dealt with.

Chauwa urged the tobacco authority to look into farmers outcry on various issues raised to them.

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