Liberalisation of the economy, according to a statement released last week and signed by FUM president Felix Jumbe, has caused so many small-scale farmers to flood the market and this has compromised quality of the leaf.
The statement said about 80 percent of the leaf is now grown by smallholder farmers who lack capacity to produce quality leaf.
Government has been at logger heads with buyers, accusing them of rejecting tobacco without good reasons and buying the leaf at low prices. But the buyers blame farmers that they bring low quality tobacco to auction floods.
Last year, the rejection rate of tobacco was at 80 percent and this year, it is at 60 percent, according to the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC).
â€œThe new government that came in 1994 had no focus on farming and started liberalising the economy, including the growing of tobacco and the marketing of agriculture commodities which were restricted to Admarc.
â€œThe change in the Tobacco Act, resulted in smallholder farmers flooding the growing of tobacco in hope for better income which diluted the quality of the leaf due to lack of financial support,â€ reads the statement in part.
The statement furthers said the incorporation of intermediary buyers and vendors has also brought in further confusion because their interests are only in profits and not quality.
â€œThese changes resulted in commercial farmers losing out due to theft and inability to compete with vendors who were interested in volume other than quality and could not service loans,â€ it read.
Ministry of Agriculture Principal Secretary Erica Maganga refused to comment on the issue, referring the reporter to TCC.
But efforts to talk to TCC proved futile.
Tobacco is Malawiâ€™s number one foreign exchange earnings, wiring in about 60 percent of foreign reserves, but has of late been characterised by poor prices and high rejection rate.