Tobacco Association of Malawi Executive Director Graham Kunimba has urged China to increase the amount of tobacco it purchases from Malawi as that would help increase the prices at the Auction Floors.
Kunimba’s sentiments come after Chinese Embassy’s economic and commercial counsellor, Wang Jiaxin Hudson, hinted that his country would purchase only 3 000 tonnes of tobacco as it has been doing since it established relations.
In an interview on Thursday, Kunimba said with more buyers, tobacco farmers would be the real winners because prices of the commodity will be high.
“Looking at the amount of tobacco that we produce in this country I feel China can do better by buying more than the current volumes. To us 3 000 tonnes is on a lower side,” said Kunimba.
Despite the erratic rains the country has experienced this year, Kunimba was optimistic that enough quantities of tobacco would be produced.
According to estimates, Malawi is going to produce 26 million kilogrammes of flue cured tobacco and 1.5 million of dark fired tobacco.
But responding to Kunimba’s sentiments, Hudson said it would not be possible for his country to purchase more tobacco.
“We want Malawi to produce more coffee and tea because the market in China is also huge. I do not think that we can increase the amount of tobacco in the meantime since we also get the same product from other countries and we have large stocks in China,” said Hudson.n