Chakwera commends tobacco farmers; 2023 tobacco marketing season opens

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Chakwera commends tobacco farmers; 2023 tobacco marketing season opens

State President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has commended tobacco farmers in the country for taking lead in the generation of foreign exchange saying they are the ones keeping the country’s economy on its feet. Speaking as he officially opened this year’s tobacco marketing season at Lilongwe Auction Floors at Kanengo, Chakwera emphasized the need for Malawians not only to be forex consumers but also producers. The president identified tobacco farmers in the country as the number one forex producers in agriculture concluding: if they stopped producing tobacco, the country’s economy would collapse.

“So as far as I am concerned, we must do everything we can to support tobacco farming to increase its productivity because whether anyone likes it or not, tobacco farmers are the ones keeping our economy on its feet,” he said. Dr. Chakwera reminded Malawians that each time they use anything imported, they are consuming the country’s forex and that there must be a matching appetite between consuming and producing forex.

“We have a national appetite for consumption, but we do not have a matching national appetite for production, and that needs to change as a matter of urgency,” Chakwera said. His remarks come at a time when the country has been struggling with the availability of forex for the importation of essential commodities including fuel and drugs evidenced by the shortage of fuel in 2022 as a result of depleted forex reserves. Commenting on tobacco sales, the Malawi leader called upon all tobacco stakeholders to ensure that the leaf is being bought at a fair price. The president said fair prices will motivate tobacco farmers to increase both the quality and quantity of the green gold and young people to venture into tobacco production. He further warned that buying tobacco at unfair prices does harm to the country’s economy.

Speaking before the President, Minister of Agriculture, Honorable Sam Dalitso Kawale MP, reported to the President that his Ministry has managed to woo some new tobacco buyers. He said there were ten buyers on the market during the opening sale, and two more buyers will soon come on the market. He further informed the president that the Ministry has DAES E-NEWS done all the work concerning the tobacco law and that everything will be concluded by June this year. Thetwo reports were an assignment that the president  gave the Ministry of Agriculture two years ago.  During the opening sale, a total of 2,505 bales of burley tobacco weighing 244,601 kilograms were sold on both contract and auction markets at an average price of $1.80 raking in a total of $ 440,541.37.

AHL Group Private Company Limited (plc) Board Chairperson Dr. Jerome Nkhoma said the company is ready to run this year’s tobacco marketing season through its Tobacco Sales subsidiary in all four major selling floors of Lilongwe, Chinkhoma, Mzuzu, and Limbe. He further indicated that the selling floors have a capacity of selling 35,000 bales of tobacco in a day with Lilongwe floors alone having a capacity of 15,000bales per day. AHL Group plc runs tobacco markets in the country while Tobacco Commission (TC) is a Statutory Cooperation body created by the government with the mandate to regulate the production and marketing of tobacco in Malawi as set out in the Tobacco Industry Act No. 10 0f 2019 driven by a vision of ‘Sustainable tobacco production and marketing’.

Anchor/Megafarm Programme Contacts.

Postal Address

Ministry of Agriculture, P.O Box 30134, Capital city, Lilongwe 3



+265 889 558 933

Physical Address

Megafarm Building In Kanengo - along Area 25 road, behind kanengo puma filling station