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Tobacco Sales Start on Bad Note

Suspension, clashes between farmers and buyers characterized the first day of tobacco sales in Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe on Monday.

The farmers protested against low prices with some of the leaf fetching as little as 70 cents.

“The prices are just too low yet this we season we have grown quality tobacco,” one farmer told Zodiak online at the auction floors.

However, the sales resumed as President Bingu wa Mutharika arrived to officially open the tobacco sales.

In a statement issued on Friday March 16, Tobacco Control Commission says the opening of the Lilongwe floors will be followed by Limbe on Wednesday March 28.

It is expected that this year there will be a lower volume of tobacco compared to last year’s production as some farmers abandoned the crop due to poor prices offered last year.

Tobacco is Malawi’s main cash crop contributing about 53 per cent of the country’s exports.

Last year the southern African nation realized about K40 billion—less than the K63 billion earned in the 2010 marketing season.

The Tobacco Control Commission says the dates to open Chinkhoma and Mzuzu Auction Floors will be announced later.

Meanwhile TCC is yet to announce minimum prices for various grades of the lead as it has been the tradition.—Zodiak Online

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0 #3 nkulu wampingo 2012-03-27 12:27
it is vert sad to see that tobacco is geting a low price there yet here the same malawi leaf is geting high price and five leaves are going at$1 while the a kg is going at 70c i have got the pictures where they sale an processed tobacco which they write produce from malawi and here in Guine Bissau they are geting from gambia and Senegalin the woden boxes of 50kgs let the farmers union of malawi fomulate ways amd means of sending the leaf to benefit the malawians
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0 #2 Boma 2012-03-26 20:37
Take your tobacco and sell it in Zambia so that you can make more money.
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0 #1 NEB 2012-03-26 12:42
pple should to allow these low prices offered by the buyers looking at the current price of inputs.The prices are better in Zambia for the same quality of the leaf which is fetching prices as lower as 70cents at Lilongwe auction floors.
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