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ZIMBABWE

Preparations for tobacco marketing season commence

18 Jan 2022. Farmers and the TIMB are getting ready for the 2022 tobacco marketing season with several issues including the foreign currency retention being reviewed, reports The Herald.

As part of the preparations for the new season, farmers are asking for incentives such as the Command Tobacco programme to go ahead which would enable them to register higher profits. In the past season, growers were paid 60 per cent of their money in foreign currency while the remaining 40 per cent was paid in local currency according to the exchange rate on the day of the sale.

“Preparations for the marketing season have started and currently stakeholders are consulting on a number of issues. We are engaging the TIMB, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Our expectations are that there could be a review of foreign currency so that we can retain a huge percentage and remain viable. Inputs prices have increased. Fertiliser prices have skyrocketed while labour is now demanding foreign currency. So we need more foreign currency,” said Mr George Seremwe, President of the Tobacco Association of Zimbabwe.

According to The Herald, the TIMB are also embarking on a national crop assessment exercise with the aim to predict national yield and qualities as well as the dates for the opening of this year’s marketing season.

It had already been reported that only 121,000 farmers had registered for the 2021/22 season compared to 144,462 last year.