#Malawi’s hopes on tobacco, bumper harvest

Tobacco growers weigh their crop before heading to the market
Tobacco growers weigh their crop before heading to the market
Malawi’s earnings from Tobacco have reached $15.1 million in the fourth week of sales, a 200 percent jump compared to the same period last year.
The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) said that during the first four weeks of last year, Malawi only earned $5.3 million.
This is good news to a country so dependent on the crop which accounts for 60 percent of foreign earnings and employs over 2 million from its related industries.
TCC figures also show a significant improvement in the average price during the same period, which has moved up to $1.35 compared to $1.14 last year.
Finance Minister Ken Lipenga said that his team is pinning its hopes on good prices at the auction floors and a bumper maize crop to help stem runaway inflation and improve the foreign reserves position which is at 0.9 months – far lower than the recommended three months cover.
Malawi consumes $188 million per month which is 62 percent of the $300 million the country expects to earn from tobacco this year.
Last year, the country earned $177 million in foreign exchange, the lowest in a long time.