Tobacco growers expect no change in prices

Tobacco growers say they expect no change in prices in the next marketing season.

Last season’s prices ranged between  80 cents (about K586) and $2.40 (about K1 759) per kilogramme (kg).

Tobacco buyers and growers transacting business

In an interview on Monday, Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) chief executive officer (CEO) Felix Thole said buyers are providing growers with provisional prices for next year’s crop.

“As they are signing the contracts, growers have an attachment from the specific or a particular buyer on the prices they will offer or what we call reserved prices.

“So, we have seen the prices from two buyers and we have seen that the prices are not going to be that much. We could have some similar prices like we have seen in the past season,” he said.

Figures from Tama show that as October 24, 37 800 growers had registered with the association and are expected to produce about 120 million kg.

Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) CEO Kaisi Sadala, in an interview on Monday, said it is too early to comment on the prices for the next  marketing season.

“We will soon start doing consultations. When government comes up with minimum prices, we consult stakeholders in the industry, but the process has not started,” he said.

But Sadala said the regulatory body is working with the Malawi Police Service and the Immigration Department to deal with issues of smuggling tobacco into the country.

Last season, earnings jumped by about 58 percent to  $337.3 million (about K247 billion) from $212.5 million (about K155 billion) the previous season.

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