Malawi’s tobacco revenue hits 110 mln USD

Malawi tobacco is displayed on April 8, 2015 at the Lilongwe Auction Floors during the opening day of the tobacco market. President Peter Mutharika said on April 8 that the global anti-smoking lobby had hit Malawi's tobacco-dependent economy hard, but the country could not quit the crop overnight. Tobacco, popularly known in the impoverished southern African nation as "green gold", brings in 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings and employs about half-a-million people. AFP PHOTO /AMOS GUMULIRA
Malawi tobacco is displayed at a 2015 auction in Lilongwe Tobacco in Malawi brings in about half of foreign exchange earnings and employs about half-a-million people. AFP PHOTO /AMOS GUMULIRA

Malawi’s revenue from tobacco sales have reached 110.2 million U.S. dollars in its eleventh week of trading this year, officials confirmed on Thursday.

According to recent statistics from Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) Malawi, tobacco markets across the country have traded 72.7 million kilograms of all kinds of tobacco at an average price of 1.51 U.S. dollars per kilogram.

In an interview with Xinhua on Thursday, Tobacco Commission Chief Executive Officer Kaisi Sadala said that he is optimistic that the prices of tobacco per kilogram are going to go up with the expectation of new buyers coming in the country.

However, tobacco growers across the country have expressed dissatisfaction with the current prices of tobacco per kilogram. But AHL has assured the growers that better days are coming ahead and that farmers should work on bringing quality tobacco to the market for better prices.

“The coming in of new buyers into the country means that there is going to be some kind of competition on the market hence the rise of prices, farmers should not lose hope, rather they should keep bringing their good quality products to the markets,” said Sadala.

Tobacco is Malawi’s major export produce and top currency source, accounting for over 50 percent of all foreign currency receipts.