Smiles, contentment and optimism is the best description of today’s commencement of the 2015 tobacco marketing season at the Lilongwe Auction Floors as it was punctuated by better prices compared to the same day last year.
But the key highlight was shown when the very first bale on auction system was bought at $2.32, which was also the highest price tag during yesterday’s sale, also presided by the first citizen, president Peter Mutharika who invaded the auction floors at 10:30 am.
Random spot checks inside the floors by The Nation showed that most price tags on the bales bearing prices above $1.20, way above the minimum price set this year of burley tobacco of 85 cents.
There was no price seen below $1, to the excitement of most growers.
“Izi nzosangalatsa amwene chifukwa fodyayu ndi wammusi
(This is sweet news to us farmers because this tobacco is fetching good prices despite being of lower leaf or primings),” said Kondwerani Eliya, a tobacco grower from Kadyaudzu village, traditional authority Kalolo in Lilongwe.
He sold all his five bales weighing 100 kgs of burley tobacco today at $1.30 per kilogramme.
And all representatives of major tobacco grower associations could not hide their excitement over good prices that characterised the opening of the marketing season.