Tobacco Commission (TC) will from today start its first-round tobacco crop estimate survey that seeks to provide players in the industry prospective volumes for the season.
TC corporate planning and development manager Hellings Nasoni on Thursday described the exercise as important because it gives the commission and the tobacco industry an opportunity to have information on expected volumes to be traded.
He said: “Such information feeds into planning and budgeting for marketing. The exercise will estimate production and assess rainfall distribution and impact, including challenges farmers may face in curing the tobacco.”
He advised stakeholders to expect results in a month’s time.
Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) Farmers Trust chief executive officer Felix Thole said the exercise helps to manage farmers expectations in terms of production.
“If we produce within international buyer demand, then we will be assured of better prices as farmers. In the event of over production, prices are affected. So, the crop estimate survey is critical as it help to manage our expectations”. Last season, tobacco fetched an all-type average price of $1.43 (about K1 058) per kilogramme (kg), which was 14.3 percent lower than $1.67 (about K1 235) per kg fetched in 2018 and fetched $237 million (about K175 billion) from the sale of 165.6 million kg of the crop. This was a 29.8 percent drop from $337.5 million realised in 2018.