Minister of Agriculture Hon. Sam Kawale has commended the Tobacco Commission for an impressive coordination of the 2023 tobacco marketing season.
Speaking to journalists on the status of the 2023 grower registration and licensing exercise in Lilongwe on Monday, Hon. Kawale singled out the resolution of challenges related to the payment of farmers’ proceeds as one important milestone in the last marketing season.
At the beginning of the marketing season, farmers complained about delayed payments of their proceeds after tobacco sales, with some alleging it would take up to a week or two before they got their money.
As an intervention, on 9th May, 2023, the Tobacco Commission convened a stakeholder meeting in Lilongwe to discuss solutions to the payment delays.
Among the stakeholders were the floors operator (AHL), commercial banks and grower associations, among others.
A few weeks after the meeting, grower associations reported improvements in the payment period, with most payments processed within 24 hours.
At the Monday press briefing, the Minister also commended buying companies for offering exciting prices for tobacco in the 2023 selling season.
In the 2023 marketing season, 120 million kilogrammes of tobacco was sold at an average price of $2.35, an upward movement from the 2022 marketing season.
In 2022, farmers sold 85 million kilogrammes of tobacco at an average price of $2.14.
At the press briefing, the Minister also announced that by Friday, 3rd November, 2023, the Commission had licensed up to 239 million kilogrammes of tobacco for the 2023/2024 farming season.
Meanwhile, grower registration and licensing for the current growing season continues up to 17th November, 2023.