The chief executive officer of the Tobacco Commission, Kayisi Sadala, has outlined that the green gold market has made K20 billion in the last week, as the figure could have been higher if it was not for the coronavirus pandemic.
“We could have realized much higher if we did not have the coronavirus,” said Sadala, while prices are 30% higher than last year’s average tobacco price, due to flue cured tobacco that has impressed buyers. Meanwhile, farmers are seeking the High Court for an injunction against the implementation of the Tobacco Industry Act, while also protesting the current system of selling tobacco.
The situation was similar during last year’s tobacco market, as farmers felt that Section 60 of the Act is unfair. The Act imposes a penalty of 75% of the proceeds of all sales of excess tobacco produced beyond the stipulated quota. In the prior market season , the new Act would not be applied, as it was announced amidst an already ongoing market. Meanwhile, tobacco and maize are being counted on to stabilize the inflation rate and forex reserves in Malawi.