The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) says the tobacco market will open between first and second week of April.
TCC Chief Executive Officer Albert Changaya said depending on the circumstances, tobacco markets might open either in the first or second week of April.
Changaya said this year’s tobacco first estimates are pegged at 186 million Kilograms which is higher than 168 million Kgs of last year. Changaya however said Flue Cured tobacco production has gone down from 23 million Kgs to 22.3 million Kgs as compared to last year.
Dr Changaya has also disclosed that first estimates have also seen Northern Dark Fired tobacco demand decreasing from 3.15 Million Kilograms last year to 2.8Million Kilograms due to poor prices in the last growing season and the farmers have migrated to barley tobacco.
According to Changaya, this year’s barley tobacco demand has decreased from 154 million Kgs to 132 million Kgs.
He said the decrease in demand is because there was overproduction of the crop last year and that buyers have not committed themselves so much because they have cross over stocks.
Meanwhile, Changaya has urged farmers not to sell their tobacco to vendors who are taking advantage of the hunger to buy tobacco. “Just make sure that you have taken care of your tobacco, don’t mix with foreign objects,” said Changaya.