Tobacco Rakes in $24 Million in 3 Weeks of Sales
Earnings from Malawi’s top export crop, tobacco, hit $24 million by end of week three of sales after the country sold over 14.9 million kilograms at an average price of $1.66 per kilogram, according to figures from AHL Group.
The revenue is higher compared to $17 million realized during the same period last year.
The volume of tobacco traded is also higher compared to 11.5 million kilograms of tobacco sold within the first 3 weeks of trading last year.
The average price is also higher than $1.54 the leaf fetched per kilogram last year within the same period.
Tobacco Commission Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Joseph Chidanti Malunga says the volume of tobacco traded is expected to improve as at the moment stands at 50 percent.
“At the beginning of this year’s tobacco market, rejection rate stood at about 95 percent. But as of this week, we have seen improvement. It is at 50 percent and we expect that moving forward that it will be lower,” said Chidanti Malunga.
TAMA Trust President Kalima Banda has since called on farmers to ensure they properly grade their tobacco before taking it to market to reduce the rejection rate.
“Our call to farmers is that they should not use shortcuts in ensuring that their tobacco is properly graded. They should always follow the proper grading guidelines to reduce the rejection rate which is high at the moment,” said Banda.
In the 2019/2020 farming season, Malawi sold 113 million kilograms of all types of tobacco realizing $174 million US dollars (approximately MK130 billion kwacha).
Tobacco remains the country’s major foreign exchange earner.
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