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Experts commend government for good tobacco prices

By Levison Lester and Sheminah Nkhoma

Lilongwe, April 22: Economic experts have commended government for ensuring that tobacco farmers get high prices this year, observing this will help to stabilise the economy.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), Socio and Economic Commentator, Milward Tobias said the current tobacco prices is good news to farmers because they will be able to payback their production expenses.

He said good tobacco prices is an indication that farmers are investing much to produce high quality tobacco.

“It is pleasing to note that this year, farmers are selling tobacco at higher prices. This means they will be able to recover their production costs and make profits. We hope that the market will continue to be smooth and will not be interrupted,” He said.

Tobias said the current sales will stabilise the economy because the much needed forex will be available though it might not be enough to cater for all socioeconomic services in the country.

He said, “We must also be mindful of the fact that the tobacco selling season is coming when the country has shortages of forex. So with the current sales, it means farmers will now be able to buy iron sheets and send their children to school without problems.”

Director of Research at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Samson Katengeza applauded government and tobacco buyers for giving farmers good prices saying this will encourage farmers to grow more tobacco in years to come.

He also said tobacco being a crop that brings a lot of forex, will help the country to grow economically.

He however urged government to track all the forex which is going to be realised from tobacco sales, saying this is the only way to boost Malawi’s economy.

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