Nyasa Tobacco Buying Company Chairman Buckle commits to fulfill Chakwera’s vision on leaf growers

Chairman of Nyasa Tobacco Buying Company, Konrad Buckle, has expressed commitment to collaborating with President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and his administration in fulfilling a vision to empower tobacco farmers by obligating buyers to offer competitive prices for the leaf.

Speaking at Chinkhoma Auction Floors in Kasungu on the sidelines of the official opening of the 2024 tobacco selling season on Monday, Buckle shared Chakwera’s lamentations that, for decades, tobacco growers were being ripped off due to low prices offered to them.

The Nyasa Tobacco Company boss said time had come for the growers to reap from their sweat.

“First I want to thank His Excellency the President. He had this vision that the farmers need to start getting value for the crop they produce because farming is a very difficult job. And his vision was to create alternative markets for the farmers to make sure that there’s competition on the floor and to make sure that it’s fair value to the farmers,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s a sad farmer on the floor. Everybody is extremely happy and the President came and walked and inspected our direct sales, and I think this is the vision that we have to have,” added Buckle.

Asked whether his company would reduce the prices the President had left the premises, as has been the case with other companies previously, Buckle assured journalists that this will not happen.

President Chakwera at Chinkhoma Auction Floors

He said his company recognizes the effort the farmers put in place to produce the leaf, stressing that the only way tobacco buyers can reward them is through competitive prices for the leaf.

“I want to tell everybody that we are here to stay. We are in partnership with the government. And we want to make a difference to the growers. The growers need to start seeing benefit in this,” assured Buckle.

In his remarks, President Chakwera said tobacco remains an important crop to Malawi’s economy.

He, therefore, asked the buyers to offer honest and competitive prices for the leaf.

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