Tobacco farmers at Limbe Auction Floors say they feel betrayed by government which has been silent on the issue of tobacco rejection rate.
According to some farmers, it is very painful that the government is still silent on their business as buyers are requesting low prices and there is high rejection rate.
One of the farmers, Justin Godson, said by this time last growing season, they were selling their tobacco at 1 dollar 10 cent compared to 80 cents this year which he said is very worrisome having in mind that they have loans which need to be given back.
Joining Godson was Roderick Dyson from Zomba district who wondered why there is a high rejection rate and low prices even though farmers this year have high quality tobacco.
“Last year these buyers were complaining of quality but see this year there is still low price, so we don’t know what the problem is and how come. I think the government is just failing to tell us to stop growing tobacco.”
“You can see that companies are the ones making much profit than the farmer who work tirelessly and spend more money growing the crop,” said Dyson.
Another farmer added that to their surprise what is happening is contrary to what they were told before.
He said they were told that there will be good prices this year. He as well wondered why the government is so quiet on the matter.
However, southern region Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) chairperson Willard Singo said everything is going well despite minor challenges.
He admitted that he received complaints from farmers but he claimed that low prices and high rejection rates of tobacco are normal. Singo advised the farmers to take care of their tobacco in order to have good prices.