UPDATED: Tobacco selling season to begin on the 22nd of April

By ZBC Reporter
THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, TIMB, has set the 22nd of April this year as the day tobacco auction floors will be officially opened. TIMB Board Chairperson, Patrick Devenish confirmed the development saying this year, the Tobacco marketing season will be opened under very strict conditions to prevent the crowding of people following the outbreak of COVID 19 Virus.
Devenish says TIMB and all stakeholders in the tobacco sector have been instructed to work on stringent modalities to ensure sanity prevails during the opening of the tobacco floors.
Devenish highlighted that farmers will not be allowed in the auctioning as merchants will be monitored to give them the right prices. No children and vendors will be allowed at the floors this year.
The Tobacco marketers are anticipating a drop in this years crop form last years’ 260 million kilogrammes to 240 million kilogrammes due to the effects of the drought.
In a joint statement released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and TIMB last week, farmers this season will be paid 50% of their earnings in foreign currency and the remainder will be paid in local currency at the prevailing Interbank rate on the day. Accordingly, farmers without Foreign Currency Accounts are being advised to open the same. Farmers requiring cash for immediate use will have access to it at a rate of ZW 1.50 per kg delivered. Farmers who took loans in foreign currency will be expected to pay back those loans in foreign currency according to the press statement. Zimbabwe is the largest tobacco grower in Africa and it is the 6th largest grower in the world. There are three types of tobacco that are grown in Zimbabwe and these are Virginia, Burley and Oriental.