The Tobacco Control Commission TCC ruled out any possibility of the selling season being opened as earlier as suggested by some economists.
The Tobacco regulating bodyâs sentiments came a month after Professor Matthews Chikaonda ârenowned economist suggested that authorities must open tobacco marketing season as early as in February in order to rescue the countryâs economy from further shocks that might be caused by effects of the recent donor aid withdrawal.
TCCâs Chief Executive Officer Dr Bruce Munthali said though they also feel it will be beneficial to the local economy to open the market earlier, it may be difficult because the rainfall came late in most places.
âIt would depend on rainfall pattern and especially this year when different areas have received rain quite late, in most places tobacco will be ready by March.
âHowever we are still anticipating a positive season given the current weather condition persists.â Said Munthali.
Meanwhile, TCC predicts an increase in terms of production for 2014 season.
âWe are definitely expecting production to surpass last yearâs 168 million kilograms.
âThis will consequently improve the earnings two- do not forget last year we got 360 million USD from tobacco.â Munthali was quoted as saying.
The first round tobacco estimates are expected to be released by end January as the registration exercise is in its completion stage
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