Government has hit back at Agriculturists’ concerns that the kwacha appreciation will rob Tobacco farmers –saying the argument is shy to benefits of the situation to the nation at large.
The local currency appreciated from around 450 to 430 to USD in the past weeks –a situation that prompted former farmers union president Felix Jumbe to allege that it is a false appreciation aimed at robbing Tobacco farmers whose earnings are determined in Dollar terms but get paid in kwacha.
“Last year this is what they did and it eventually robbed 24 billion kwacha from tobacco farmers, we do not see to it as a positive move.” Jumbe was quoted as saying.
However, speaking to MIJ FM, Spokesperson of the ministry of finance Nations Msowoya though admitting the situation, said the benefits of the appreciation overcome these negative sides.
But Msowoya said the only way farmers could avoid being victimized is to purchase these inputs as early as soon after selling tobacco when the currency is generally stronger.
Of course the appreciation has its own effects and these are some of them, but we need to look at it at in totality.
“We think the most part is about the benefits it is bringing to the nation at large, and the only remedy is that our farmers should be clever enough to buy fertilizer as early as when the currency is still strong in around May.” Msowoya said.
Msowoya also revealed that as a long term measure, government is planning to introduce other exports to complement tobacco which is only covering 6 months from March.

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