JTI Malawi says the 2018 tobacco season was successful as its contracted growers delivered the best quality tobacco, which fetched good prices on the market.
The firm’s corporae affairs and communications director Limbani Kakhome said on Friday in Mzuzu at the close of its tobacco selling season.
“On average, we paid 15 percent above the market price because JTI growers delivered high quality tobacco. In addition, we bought more than our required volume target by 1.2 million kilogrammes [kg],” he said.
Kakhome said tobacco for JTI contracted growers fetched on average $1.87 (about K1 300) per kg.
He thanked tobacco growers for their ongoing loyalty, emphasising that JTI’s long-term commitment to tobacco growing in Malawi and partnership with contracted growers is “bearing good fruits”.
Kakhome said consumers demands are changing, prompting JTI to always be responsive to their preferences.
As such, he said contract farming or Integrated Production System (IPS) is important for the long-term viability of tobacco growing in Malawi.
One of JTI contracted growers, Tyson Moyo of Uchizi wa Chiuta Club, said the season was one of the best based on the good prices JTI they were offered.
“I have been a JTI contracted grower for five years. This year has been the most successful one. I sold my tobacco at an average price of $2.10 (about K1 500) per kg. I can attribute this to the advice that JTI agriculture advisers provided us throughout the crop season,” he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and Tobacco Control Commission supported JTI’s decision to complete tobacco buying in Limbe, Chinkhoma, Lilongwe and Mzuzu. n