Burley production projected to drop
The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has said there is an expected slight drop in burley tobacco production following low prices the leaf fetched during the last marketing season.
TCC Chief Executive Bruce Munthali said the poor prices were due to over production.
“Expectations are that production for dark fired tobacco will increase. But for burley tobacco we expect figures to slightly drop this year compared to the previous season,” said Munthali.
He said, TCC outlook reflects that nursery fields have a better quality leaf this year.
“However, this will also depend on the rainfall patterns. But from the look of things, at the nursery level, there appears to be a more promising picture of the leaf this year which we anticipate will fetch good prices on the market,” said Munthali.
He further said indicative figures from preliminary estimates entail that production will not surpass the market demand currently pegged at 189 million kilogrammes.
Munthali said product ion could be in line with or slightly below the demand.
Last season tobacco contributed US$357 million to the Malawi economy amid growers’ complaints over low prices due to overproduction.
The national economy is heavily dependent on tobacco, which accounts f o r nearly 60 percent of its foreign earnings.
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