Malawi Tobacco Commission (TC) has postponed the opening of the green leaf’s market season to a later date due to Covid-19 threats.The Chief Executive Officer of TC, Mr. Kayisi Sadala, told journalists on Tuesday that the auction market for the product was supposed to start on the last week of the month of March, but due to the threats of coronavirus pandemic, the market would be delayed.
“We have communicated to both our local and international buyers as well as farmers on the situation at hand up until the pandemic is contained that’s when we can announce the dates,” he said.
Unlike contract farming where the product is bought from the farm, he said, the auction markets attract more people to bid for the product, hence congestion at one place, is not good for the Covid-19 preventative measures of maintaining a good distance and restricting gatherings to less than 100 people.
Although Malawi has not reported any case, he said, the commission and its stakeholders were still monitoring with keen interest the trends of the pandemic.
Tobacco is the major forex earner and the engine for economic development for Malawi.