The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has said results of the first round of crop [tobacco] assessment will be ready by end of January.
Stakeholders met last Tuesday to map the approach to the crop assessment expected to commence this week.
Figures from TCC show that 41,784 farmers had registered to grow the leaf as of early December, with a total registered quota of 162 million kilogrammes.
The figure is likely to rise as, at the time of registration, the commission had run out of farmers’ registration cards, which are now being cleared in some parts of the Southern Region.
The registered quota is still lower than the 2018 buyer demand of 171 million kilogrammes.
TCC Chief Executive Officer, Kaisi Sadala, said there would, however, not be much change on the quality of the estimated tobacco to be produced this year.
“The expectation is that, by the end of this month, we should have the results. We are sure that what we licensed is in line with the international demand such that we should be able to control the market trends,” Sadala said.
Sadala further warned that farmers who are growing the leaf but did not register with the commission may find it difficult to sell their crop through the action floors.
Earlier, some stakeholders said the output this year may not be satisfactory, if the dry spell that has hit some tobacco growing regions may persist.
Sadala said: “It is a matter of concern but we are hopeful and we keep praying that the rains will resume this week. We are getting reports that, in some areas, the crop has started to wither,” Sadala said.
In a separate interview, Tobacco Association of Malawi Chief Executive Officer, Matthews Zulu, said the association is also assessing the situation “to give a true reflection on the ground.”
While expressing optimism that the rainfall pattern may improve in the shortest time possible, Zulu said the current situation paints a gloomy picture of the output this season.
“We are hopeful that, if the situation improves within this week, the crop in most f
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