Commission to intervene on late rains impact on tobacco farmers’ earnings

January 8, 2022
A tobacco nursery at a farm in Lilongwe. Photo credit: TAMA Farmers Trust

The Tobacco Commission says it will undertake appropriate interventions to cushion farmers from the potential impact of the late onset of rains on earnings from tobacco in the 2021/2022 marketing season.

The late onset of rains has prompted the Commission to investigate the impact on tobacco nurseries.

The Commission has since deployed personnel to selected tobacco growing areas for the impact assessment whose report is expected next week.

Chief Executive Officer Dr. Joseph Chidanti-Malunga says based on the findings, the Commission will be engaging various stakeholders to devise strategies for minimizing the potential impact on farmers’ earnings.

“As a regulator, we have at our disposal opportunities to engage various players on interventions that will protect growers’ interests.  A decision on specific interventions will be informed by the impact assessment report,” said Dr Chidanti-Malunga.

Probable interventions include factoring the delayed onset of rains in the 2021/2022 cost of production workings, negotiating with buyers for flexible loan conditions on behalf of farmers and engaging Government on other options.

Despite the delayed season this year, the Tobacco Commission says will continue stirring the industry to achieving a 180 million-kilograme annual production target in the next few years.

In 2020,114 million kilograms of tobacco were sold at the country’s auction floors. In 2021, the volumes rose to 123 million kilograms.

Later in the year, the Tobacco Commission will be announcing projected tobacco volumes for the season.

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