A white tobacco buyer on Thursday roughed up a farmer during a fracas that happened at Kanengo Auction floors in Lilongwe.
According to reports, when sales began for the day, the farmers demanded that they should be offered higher prices and also expressed worry at the high rejection rate which had shot up to 70 percent.
At the same time, the farmers were also incensed after noticing that sales were going on well in the contract section of the floors where tobacco was being bought at $200 per Kg and the leaf was not being rejected.
The angry farmers then went to the contract section and disrupted sales.
The growers’ demands and conduct exasperated the white man who beat up one of the famers. In reaction, the farmers mobilised themselves and chased away the buyers from the floors.
The fracas led to the suspension of tobacco sales at the auction floors.
Meanwhile, government has vowed to review security at the floors in order to protect white buyers from being attacked by irate farmers.
Yesterday, officials from Tobacco Control Commission, Tobacco Association of Malawi and AHL Group met to discuss the way forward on the matter.