Tobacco farmers in Malawi are abandoning the crop due to declining revenues, said the Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA).
According to the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), tobacco prices dropped from a high of US$410/kg in 2010, to US$275/kg in 2016.
“As a survival mechanism, farmers are abandoning the growing of the crop in favour of soya bean, sorghum and other crops,” said TAMA.
The association has 200 000 members and is regarded as the most influential voice in the tobacco industry.
Output from the crop, a major foreign exchange earner contributing 13% of GDP and 3 million direct and indirect jobs, fluctuated over the last few years. Last season’s 124 million kilogrammes were a record low.