Earnings from Malawi’s major cash crop, tobacco, have gone up to US$ 116 million, which is about K31 billion, since the start of this year’s marketing season in March, authorities have said, representing a 144% increase if compared to the same period last year.
Tobacco Control Commission-TCC- Chief Executive Dr Bruce Munthali has attributed the success story to good prices offered for the leaf on the market.
“We have seen significant improvement in the volume passing through the market. There is a 144 % increase in the earnings so far, compared to the trend during a similar period last year,” said Dr Munthali in an interview.
He said the tobacco market is stable this time around compared to the trend in the last trading season which was marred by a high rejection rate coupled with low prices offered by buyers.
By June 23, the tobacco market had raked in a total of US$ 116, 304 000, which is about K 31 billion, realized from a sales volume of 54, 914 kilograms.
“This is compared to total earnings of $ 47, 723 000 realized from a volume of 49, 369 000 kilograms during a similar period last year,” said Dr. Munthali.
Production of the green gold is projected to have gone down this year by about 35 percent to 151 million kilograms from 232 million kilograms grown last season.
This has directly influenced the demand curve at the auction floor. Tobacco remains Malawi’s major cash crop.