Mzuzu Auction Floors opened on Monday with fewer tobacco bales than expected. Random interviews with farmers showed that the green leaf was still either in the gardens or in the curing bans.
Senior Chief Mpherembe, a prominent tobacco farmer, was at the auction floors during the opening, but was not ready to sell his bales.
“I just came to check the prices. My tobacco is still not ready for the market,” said Mpherembe.
But farmers were generally happy with the prices offered which averaged $1.25 although some tobacco fetched as high as $2.25 per kg while the lowest was 90 per kg cents.
This was better than Lilongwe Auction Floors where the green gold fetched the highest price of $2.20 per kg, but was beaten by Limbe and Chinkhoma that fetched $2.32 per kg and $2.35 kg on their respective opening days.
Chairperson of Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) Gamaliel Bandawe was impressed with the prices.
“Sales of flue cured tobacco have been outstanding and farmers will make money this year. We appeal to farmers to continue resisting the temptation of putting foreign bodies in the bales.
Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) President Reuben Maigwa said farmers have grown more tobacco this year than last year. He hoped that good prices will continue.