The Tobacco Commission (TC) has announced that the 2023 tobacco marketing season will open on 12th April by State President Lazarus Macathy Chakwera at Lilongwe Auction Floors.
TC Chief Executive Officer Dr Joseph Chidanti Malunga made the announcement during a media briefing at Kanengo Auction Floors on Thursday that arrangements and preparations for the opening of the market have reached an advanced stage.
“We are very prepared including all the buyers, transporters and growers as the tobacco bales are already at the market ready to be sold,” he said.
He said 2,600 bales have been set to be sold on the first day of the opening while 16,000 bales have already been presented to the market.
Malunga said this year’s season has been good for tobacco despite cyclone Freddy affecting the crop in the Southern Region.
As a result, he said this year’s tobacco consumption is expected to increase by 50 percent to 126 million kilograms from 85 million kilograms the country produced last year.
Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) Chief Executive Officer Alfred Nkhono said they will use both systems of auctioning and contract during the selling of tobacco.
“All buyers will have their tobacco which they have bought conveyed to their places the same day,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture is expected to come up with minimum prices for the product.
Tobacco is the country’s major exchange earner.