2020 tobacco selling season opens

By ZBC Reporter
THE 2020 tobacco marketing season officially opened this Wednesday, with more auction floors being set up in major tobacco-growing regions in order to contain the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid 19 induced lockdown had cast doubts over the opening of the tobacco auction floors, with the 2020 tobacco selling season having been delayed by almost a month.
This Wednesday Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri officially opened the selling season at tobacco auction floors in Harare.
“It is gratifying to note that the tobacco industry can now resume but under cautionary measures which include maintaining social distancing, screening at entrances to establish Covid cases, isolation, practising hygienic standards etc,” he said.
Chairperson of the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board Patrick Devenish said there are improved payment modalities in place to run with the new selling guidelines.
“We have put improved payment modalities to ensure that tobacco growers get full value for their crop and simultaneously being paid within the shortest possible time. 50% will be paid in forex and the rest in local currency,” he said.
Amid the Covid 19 induced global recession, tobacco is expected to bring a major financial lifeline to Zimbabwe’s foreign currency coffers as many economies continue to grapple with the devastating effects of the pandemic. Unlike other commodities such as oil and minerals, tobacco will not face huge disruptions in terms of demand and price and this will help contain any resulting economic shocks to be registered in other sectors of the economy.