Malawi: Agri Minister Lowe Furious Over Tobacco Rejection Rate, Summons Buyers

Griffins Kaliza in his tobacco farm in Malawi's central Mchinji dsitrict.
26 April 2021

Agriculture minister Lobin Lowe has expressed fury over the high rejection rate currently at 72 percent.

Lowe expressed the concern in Limbe Blantyre, when he presided over commissioning of this year's Limber Auction Floors tobacco marketing season.

The agriculture minister said his Ministry has since summoned all stakeholders to discuss the problem and that he that a lasting solution will be found.

"We are worried with the rejection rate that is why will be meeting with buyers and other," said Lowe.

Lowe has since urged farmers to ensure quality of tobacco is up to date, in order for them fetch more on their tobacco saying buyers are so strict now.

"Let me urge associations to encourage farmers to bring quality tobacco free of moisture."

Lowe has since cautioned farmers to avoid child labour. He said there is need to adhere to all set standards so that no one make unnecessary alarm.

Apart from tobacco, Lowe encouraged farmers to diversify as well as forming cooperatives so that they are able to diversify into other crops like Soya, beans, maize , groundnuts and cotton.

Speaking during the same function , AHL Group acting General Manager Alfred Nkhono gave background of Limbe Floors in which he said that Limbe floors operations in 1936 meaning that is 85 years in operation.

The floor was designed to sell 5000 bails per day but during the opening day 1,500 bails were up for grab.

Nkhono said AHL is ready to run the market despite Covid-19 pandemic adding that the company will give cash in time to all tobacco farmers and stakeholders in time and ensure that there is no corruption.

He assured farmers of good Tobacco prices since the demand is higher than the supply.

Tama President Abiel Kalima Banda has since commended buyers for adherence to good prices.

More From: Nyasa Times

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