Just four days after the 2013 tobacco selling season started, large volumes of tobacco have been registered at the two opened auction floors of Lilongwe and Chinkhoma in Kasungu.

This year’s tobacco selling season is expected to fetch about US$300 and economists observe that the development will help the country collect enough forex.

Tobacco control commission (TCC) spokes person Juliana Chidumu indicated that farmers have been encouraged with prices at the onset of the sales and more tobacco is flocking to the markets.

On Monday, tobacco prices were hovering between $1 and $2 per kilogram at the Lilongwe auction floors, which the farmers say was remarkable compared to last year’s 60 cents per kilogram on the first day.

Speaking after touring the Lilongwe auction floors President Joyce Banda appealed to tobacco buyers to further improve buying prices on the market.

President Banda said from what she saw at the auction in terms of quality and prices on offer, this year farmers will reap desired benefits from their tobacco production.

Meanwhile, The good prices, some observe will reduce cross boarder tobacco selling by producers.

Chinkhoma auction floors opened on Wednesday and Limbe is set to open on 18 March, 2013.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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