There are same old seven buyers at the auction this season.

This comes at a time when minister of agriculture and Tobacco Control Commission members went to Middle East and some Asian countries in search for new buyers.

The minister said out of numerous companies that expressed interest, one went ahead to register with TCC to start buying the leaf this season.

However, TCC’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Bruce Munthali said no any company has registered yet though negotiations may continue with those companies.

Munthali however said the trip has not been useless as formal negotiations take length before deals materialize.

Some of the seven tobacco buying companies in the country are Limbe leaf, Alliance one, Continental Tobacco, Malawi Leaf, African Leaf and Premium TAMA.

The market started on Monday with Kanengo auction in Lilongwe where the president was there to officiate.

Chinkhoma opened the following day where it was learnt that in both flours rejection rate was very high at around 39% at highest.

As this was not enough, the following day when Limbe market opened, sales were suspended just minutes after they were officially opened by Deputy Minister of agriculture Binton Kumtsaira following disagreements between farmers and buyers on prices.

The prices ranged from 85 cents to 1 dollar 40 cents.

It resumed later in the afternoon with buyers slightly adjusting their prices but still farmers are not impressed with the starting pace in the south.

However, speaking in an interview, one of the social economic analysts Mabvuto Bamusi said the season has started on a promising knot such that if maintained, it could positively impact the country’s forex reserves and inflation.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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