Rain Brings Hope
Rain eases Malawi drought.
Heavy rainfall in the Thyolo and Mulanje regions of the country in February brought back hope to the Malawi tea farmers after very dry weather in December and January.
The lack of rain meant very low yields over recent months but both of these important districts received four or more days of continuous rain with more scattered showers following. During the period November to January 2016, between 20% and 40% less rain than usual fell and, due to the ongoing drought, Malawi’s Limbe auctions sold only 1.1 million kilos of tea from July to October 2015, compared to 1.7million kilos sold in the same period of 2014.
The Limbe auctions during the last few months of 2015 were the worst ever experienced in the country and fortnightly instead of weekly trading had to be introduced, with no trade at all at times. Now, with increased rain, business is getting back to normal and prices are higher than last year, a trend that is expected to continue.