TAMA Farmers Trust has asked government to equally reach out to auction tobacco growers with good farming practice information in order to promote the quality of tobacco leaf at the markets.
TAMA Farmers Trust Chief Executive Officer, Nixon Lita, sounded the plea when commenting on some of the factors needed to be addressed in the tobacco industry as the country is preparing to join the global community in the commemoration of World Tobacco Growers day which falls on October 28.
According to Lita, during farming season every year, auction tobacco growers do not access much needed information on good farming practices as compared to their counterparts who are contract growers.
Lita said: “Those that are selling on contract are able to access adequate information relating to good farming practices while most of those on auction are being sidelined.”
Lita pointed out that among several problems being faced by tobacco growers in the country is the production of undesirable quality of the leaf a development which is contributing to a high rejection rate on the market.
During 2019 tobacco sales, a rejection rate reached as high as 60% with some tobacco being bought as low as US$90 cents mainly due to poor quality.
Tobacco, which is Malawi’s main forex earner, makes up to 53 percent of the country’s exports.