The first round of the 2023/2024 crop estimates survey that kicked off January 15 was wound up on Friday, February 2.
The exercise involved enumerators from the tobacco industry in Malawi collecting data from various tobacco growing areas in the country for three weeks.
The industry conducts crop estimates surveys every season to collect data that helps players in the economy plan.
The results of the first round are expected after February 9.
Meanwhile, a country-wide nursery assessment survey conducted to assess growers’ preparedness for tobacco production this farming season in November 2023, revealed a 22.5% and 37% increase in seedbed area and planned hectarage, respectively, as compared to 2022.
Tobacco Commission chief executive officer Dr Chidanti-Malunga described the survey results as a positive development.
“We are happy that farmers plan to produce more this year because that is what the country needs. We look forward to favourable weather conditions to help our farmers translate the planned hectarage into actual production,” said Dr Chidanti-Malunga.
Of the three types of tobacco grown in the country, burley had the biggest planned hectarage registering a 49% increase from the actual in 2022.
The survey report attributed the increased seedbed area and planned hectarage to increase in quota for growers, farmers’ plans to cushion themselves against germination failure, increased sponsorship by tobacco buying companies and motivation triggered by better prices fetched in the 2022/23 tobacco marketing season.
The report further noted that sampled nurseries looked good, the seedlings were healthy and most of the growers were following recommended agricultural practices.
In the 2022/2023 farming season, 120 million kilogrammes of tobacco valued at $282.6 million was sold at an average price of $2.35.
In the previous farming season, 85 million kilogrammes valued at $182 million was sold, fetching an average price of $2.14 per kilogramme.