Tobacco farmers angry over contract farming

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Tobacco farmers at Limbe Auction Floors in the commercial city of Blantyre have expressed dissatisfaction with contract farming saying it is exploitative.

Contract farming sees farmers having pre-market agreement with buyers hoping to achieve smooth market and also to have the full control of their products at the market.

However, according to some farmers whom Malawi24 interviewed at the auction floors, growers who use the system are failing to make profit from their sweat.

Tobacco

Tobacco farmers feel exploited.

The farmers said that the most worrisome thing with the system is that they are selling half of the amount of tobacco which they agreed with the buyers.

“we are unhappy with this farming system as it is exploiting us. You can see that we are selling half the agreed quantity of tobacco brought to the market, a thing which is so painful to a farmer like me considering the hard times at the farm,” said Alick Mbewe, a farmer from Balaka.

Concurring with Mbewe was Symon Phiri from Kandewu in Ntcheu who said he brought 14 bails but has only sold seven bails. Phiri said he agreed with the buyers that they will buy all the bails but to his surprise the buyers are saying they will buy half the agreed number.

Meanwhile the farmers have called on authorities to review the system saying it is letting them down.

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