Farmer's Voice

Report of low prices in Zambia

Tobacco growers in the districts of Kaoma and Nkeyema in Western Province, Zambia, expressed concerns over low leaf prices offered by Alliance One Zambia and the method it allegedly uses to purchase the crop.

The farmers said they have been spending nights at the company's sheds hoping that the leaf price, which currently ranges from 1-7.50 kwacha (US$ 0.16-1.18) per kg, will increase.

Dennis Malupenga and John Susiku of Kalumwange in Chief Kasimba's area said Alliance One Zambia is undervaluing their crop and rejecting some of it, saying it is excess. Alliance One Zambia manager Hillary Chanda refuted the charges, saying the company was limiting the amount of tobacco it purchases from each farmer based on their acreage.

Chanda said Alliance One Zambia is buying an average of 1,000 kgs of tobacco per hectare from its sponsored farmers with an allowance of 20% based on crop estimates for each grower (Times of Zambia 5/4)