Tobacco sales at Mzuzu Auction Floors in northern Malawi have been extended to accommodate bales flowing into the market.
The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) initially indicated that final sales in Mzuzu would close on July 20 2012. However, the offloading bay at the auction floors had hundreds of bales as of Thursday. Some trucks were also seen outside waiting to be offloaded.
TCC chief executive officer Dr. Bruce Munthali said the sales would go beyond the deadline.
â€œThe original date for closing Lilongwe and Mzuzu Auction Floors was July 20. But as you can see, bales are still coming because farmers held the tobacco hoping that there will be better prices,â€ he said.
On Thursday, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Ulemu Chilapondwa toured Mzuzu Auction Floors.
Asked when the market will eventually close, Munthali proposed July 27, hoping that by then, all the tobacco would have been sold.
On his part, Chilapondwa said he visited the auction floors to see how sales are progressing. He appealed to growers to improve on grading if they are to fetch better prices.
One of the farmers, Bolingo Bosco Mpata, said farmers have learnt to be honest and would not put foreign bodies in the bales.