Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Take advantage of favourable prices, Chanje advises tobacco farmers
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

CHIEF Chanje of the Chewa people in Chipata has advised tobacco farmers to take advantage of this year's favourable prices clear their loans with out grower companies.

Last year's tobacco marketing season saw a significant decline in prices when a kilogramme of high grade tobacco sold for less than KR10.

In an interview yesterday, chief Chanje said he does not expect tobacco farmers in his area to default.

He said in the past seasons, he had been receiving complaints from out grower companies about the defaulting farmers.

"I would like to make a passionate appeal to the farmers to ensure that they pay back loans to the out-grower companies. Once we pay back loans then next time they are also going to give us loans. And to out-grower companies, please let's buy tobacco according to the grade of the commodity. It will be bad if farmers will start complaining about the way their tobacco will be bought and end up failing to pay loans," chief Chanje said.

He reminded out-grower companies to start paying farmers who had already sold their tobacco. Chief Chanje said some farmers who sold their tobacco about two weeks ago had not yet been paid.

"People who sold their tobacco should get their monies because there are a lot of things that need money. I would also like to appeal to farmers to take extra care of the food they have grown because this year's rainfall pattern was not very good so they should not sell everything," he said.

Chief Chanje said some companies were buying the crop at as high as KR15.7 per kilogramme, adding that he had not received any complaint from his people over this season's tobacco prices.

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