Tea farmers in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabuka in Mulanje have asked government to ensure that buyers offer them good prices so that they benefit from their sweat.
The farmers said this on Friday at the end of a two-day training for lead farmers Centre for Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) organised in the area as part of Landscape Management in the Smallholder Tea Sector project the organisation is implementing in Mulanje and Thyolo districts.
One of the farmers, Rodah Mwazuwa from Naimbele Village, T/A Mabuka said buyers have been offering them K123 per kilogramme (kg) which she said is not enough, considering the effort they put in growing the crop.
“Whenever we complain about the low prices, we are told that we would soon be offered better prices. Unfortunately, that does not happen.
“This is because we do not have government representatives who can take the issue up with buyers on our behalf,” she said.
Group village head Khanyizira decried climate change which he said has affected agriculture produce in the area.
“Before climate change set in, we could harvest tea from November to May, but now we harvest from February to May.
“Another issue is that buyers rip us off. They offer us very low prices despite that we do everything on our own.
“Buyers pay us K123 per kg which is too little. We would have loved it if they paid us at least K500 per kg,” he said.
Cepa project officer Charles Kabambe said the project, which is targeting 83 farmers from Mulanje and Thyolo, seeks to promote resilience among tea farmers in the face of climate change.