News is coming from the tobacco market – earnings from tobacco, the country’s principal export crop, will dip by 36 percent to $186 million from last year’s $292 due to lower than expected output.

Tobacco earning have been declining steadily

The bad news spilled by the Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) who claim to have conducted an earnings assessment, is based on this year’s output of 151 million kilogrammes, a 35 percent drop from last year’s record production of 232 million kilogrammes.

In 2010, earnings from the leaf hit $410 million.

Figures from Tobacco Control Commission for the week ending May 18 2012 show an improvement in earnings which have peaked at $32 million, a 146 percent rise from $13 million achieved during the same period last year.

The average price has also improved to $1.35 per kilogramme from last year’s 83 cents, the figures show, with the rejection rate dropping substantially.

Tobacco accounts for 13 percent of the national economy and supports the livelihoods of millions of Malawi directly and indirectly.

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