Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) has asked tobacco growers to grade their tobacco properly to cash in on this year’s promising tobacco marketing season.
Tama head of marketing and business development Felix Thole said this on Monday in Blantyre where Agriculture Minister Peter Mwanza opened Limbe Auction Floors.
Thole observed that although most leaf fetched above the minimum price of 90 cents (K360), it was not properly graded.
“The market has started well, but we are worried that some of the tobacco is poorly graded as farmers are mixing good and low quality leaves. In the end, they lose out as prices lean more on the lower side,” said Thole.
He said poorly graded tobacco is taken back for re-grading and this is costly in terms of time, transportation and the actual grading.
Thole said although the prices are better this year, farmers would rake in more if they dried their leaf to perfection.
“We note high moisture content in some bales, this result in some buyers frowning upon the leaf,” he said after some bales at the floors were marked non-descript grade.