Surprises characterized the opening of the Mzuzu Auction Floors on Wednesday as the leaf fetched a historic high US$1.60 and the rejection rate was much lower than in other tobacco markets.
Opening the market, Agriculture minister George Chaponda hailed the tobacco buyers for heeding to his call for improved tobacco prices.
“This is good, and this is what we have been telling them to do. Our farmers have to enjoy their sweat,” he said after opening the market.
Most farmers said they were happy with the tobacco prices and hoped the buyers would continue offering the good prices.
Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) chief executive officer Albert Changaya said the leaf on the auction was of high quality.
“The rejection rate was low because the leaf was of high quality. This is good news for us and for the farmers,” he said.
Protests and violence have marred the tobacco market at Kanengo in Lilongwe as farmers protested low tobacco prices and high rejection rate.
SOURCE: Nyasa Times