MoAIFS Francis Kasaila,MP inspecting tobacco at the Selling Floors

The Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation,Hon.Fransis Kasaila MP has officially opened the 2020 Tobacco Marketing Season at Kanengo Floors in Lilongwe,amid the Corona Virus pandemic.

So far the Market has started with a promising tone as the maximum prices for Contract tobacco reached $2.30 while at the auction the maximum price was $1.20, despite some minor issues to do with grading and mixing grades.

Minister Kasaila,CEO Sadala and PS Phiri

Flanked by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture,Mr.Gray Nyandule Phiri and Tobacco Commission CEO Mr.Kayisi Sadal,the Minister inspected the tobacco bales that were laid at 0.60 meter distance inoder to observe the 1 meter social distance.In his remarks,Kasaila urged stakeholders in the Tobacco industry to work hand in hand with growers to ensure that they produce high quality leaf.

The Minister was however quick to express his optimism that this year's marketing season is going to be successfull despite some hiccups caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.On his part,the Tobacco Commission Chief Executive Officer Kayisi Sadala reiterated that the Commission will continue working hand in hand with farmers to make sure that they comply with new rules governing the industry and that they produces high quality and competitive crop.

Social distance being observed at the Selling Floors

On Covid-19,the Minister commended the Tobacco Commission,AHL and tobacco buying companies for taking proactive measures against the pandemic as evident in the availability of sanitizing and hand washing materials in and around the tobacco selling premises,beside the social distance being observed inside and outside the Selling Floors.