“On average we paid 15% above the market price because JTI growers delivered high quality tobacco. In addition, we bought more than our required volume targets by 1.2million kgs,” said Limbani Kakhome, Corporate Affairs & Communications Director.
According to Kakhome, JTI growers fetched an average of $1.87 per kilogram. He then thanked growers for their ongoing loyalty, emphasizing that JTI’s long-term commitment to tobacco growing in Malawi and partnership with contracted growers is “bearing good fruits”.
One of the JTI contracted growers, Tyson Moyo of Uchiziwa Chiuta Club, agreed with Kakhome that this season has indeed been a success following better prices that JTI offered growers.
“I have been a JTI contracted grower for five years. This year has been the most successful one of them all. I sold my tobacco at an average price of $2.10/kilogram. I can attribute this to the advice that JTI agriculture advisors provide us growers throughout the crop season. I have already extended my contract for the next season with JTI and I am looking forward to it,” said Moyo.
Kakhome said consumers’ demands are continuously changing, prompting JTI to always be responsive to their preferences. As such, he said contract farming or Integrated Production System (IPS) is important for the long term viability of tobacco growing in Malawi.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the regulator, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) confirmed their support of JTI’s decision to complete tobacco buying in Limbe, Chinkhoma, Lilongwe and finally in Mzuzu.