The Tobacco Commission (TC) says the tobacco marketing season will open this month to ensure growers sell tobacco and are economically empowered for the good of their health.
This follows President Peter Mutharika’s directive that the crop should be sold normally despite the country recording five coronavirus cases.
Lilongwe Auction Floors will open on April 20, Chankhomi on April 22, Limbe Floors on April 27 and Mzuzu Floors on May 4.
TC chief executive officer Kayisi Sadala said in a statement on Monday that measures will be taken to prevent the coronavirus and ensure that growers sell their crops.
The measures include restricting entry into AHL tobacco selling premises to people who have a critical task to perform at the auction floors.
Those allowed entry will be expected to wash hands at the gate, wipe feet at a chlorinated rug, and undergo temperature scanning with those having high temperatures being referred to a clinic at the premises.
There will also be regular sanitisation within the premises.
To observe social distancing, the number of people allowed on the floors will be restricted to 100, staff member will be ordered to leave the floors upon completing their tasks, and some tobacco sales shall be conducted in shifts.
In addition, growers will not be allowed to witness sales as they will represented by their association or AHL staff.
The growers will be able to access information about sales through an online platform.