TC condemns aggressive conduct at tobacco floors by farmers

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Tobacco Malawi

The Tobacco Commission has condemned farmers’ aggressive conduct towards the regulator’s personnel at tobacco selling floors.

The condemnation follows the circulation of a video clip in which tobacco farmers are seen verbally abusing one of the commission’s staff who was classifying tobacco at Limbe Selling Floors a few days ago.

According to the Commission’s publicist, Telephorus Chigwenembe,  initial findings into the matter by the commission show that the growers were disappointed with the grades assigned to their tobacco.

The commission has also found out that the tobacco in question was badly mixed, a tendency by some growers to mix leaves of differing quality in a bale in an attempt to fetch high prices.

“We would like to advise farmers against this tendency as it lowers the overall grade assigned to the leaf. Tobacco Commission is appealing to all aggrieved stakeholders at the floors to be civil and to present all their issues to the regulator’s personnel who are always present during sales,” he explained.

TC has further warned those who resort to verbal or physical aggression that all measures, including deregistration, the revocation of the culprit’s license, and legal action, will be taken against perpetrators.

Meanwhile, at the end of week 7 of trading (up to 31 May), 64.7 million kgs of tobacco had been sold. This is a 28.6% increase from 2023.

Chigwenembe said that $182 million was realized from the 64.7 million kgs that were sold at an average price of $2.81, a 26% increase from the same period last selling season.

“This average price per kg also represents a 10% increase from that of week 6 which was $2.78/kg. The increase in the average price per kg is due to the high-quality leaf being brought to the floors,” he explained.

He further revealed that the progress of the selling season underway has triggered people’s interest in growing the crop which aligns with their goal to increase annual production to 200 million kgs by 2028 because, in recent years, they have been failing to meet the trade demand considering that the demand for tobacco is higher than the current one.

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