Dissatisfied tobacco growers selling their crop on auction system at the Lilongwe Auction Floors on Monday blocked the sales of the leaf both on auction and contract due to high rejection rate, which stands at 52 percent.
The growers demanded the suspension of sales of tobacco on contract, claiming it was not fair for contract farmers to be selling their leaf while sales of their counterparts on auction were suspended.
In an interview, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) chief executive officer Bruce Munthali said the suspension was temporary as sales will resume Tuesday.
He said there is high rejection rate because some companies are waiting for orders from their customers, others have run out of warehouses as the market has moved at a fast pace while the financial status of other buying companies has gone down.
“We are dealing with the issue now, sales will resume tomorrow,” said Munthali.
Munthali said there was conflict as some growers did not want the market to be suspended.