Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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2018 tobacco selling season opens today

2018 tobacco selling season opens today


Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
The 2018 tobacco selling season starts today, with stakeholders in the industry expecting a smooth season. Auction floors will open today, while contract sales will start tomorrow. Farmers are expected to pocket more than $500 million from the tobacco sales.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has this year licensed three auction floors – Boka Tobacco Auction Floor, Tobacco Sales Floor and Premier Tobacco Auction Floor – after being satisfied with preparations that they have made for farmers.

There are 29 buyers and 23 contractors that have been licensed for this season.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently announced that farmers will get a maximum of $300 cash per sale.
TIMB chairperson Mrs Monica Chinamasa applauded the RBZ for its efforts in paying farmers cash and urged the tobacco growers to use the cash for critical things like paying for labour.

According to the TIMB statistics, 122 520 farmers had registered to sell tobacco this season.
This is an increase of 45 percent from the 84 221 farmers, who had registered during the same period last year.
The statistics also show that 32 025 growers have registered for the first time compared to 16 464, who registered last year.

The increase in registration has largely been influenced by the need for farmers to obtain individual grower’s numbers so that they benefit from the introduction of foreign currency incentives.

Government, in 2016 awarded tobacco farmers an export incentive, which rewards the growers for generating foreign currency through exporting goods and services.

The incentive pays the farmer a bonus of 12,5 percent on the foreign currency generated. The use of plastic money has also made it difficult for the farmers to split their money after selling their crop as they are no longer paid cash.
The money is now being deposited in bank accounts or paid through EcoCash.

Zimbabwe National Farmers Union director Mr Edward Dune said tobacco farmers were upbeat in terms of their expectations.
“We are expecting better prices and hopefully the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will pay part of our money in foreign currency,” he said

Mr Dune urged farmers to send their crop estimates on time and book before delivering their crop for sale to avoid congestion at the floors

“We also welcome the decentralisation efforts by some contractors,” he said.
“We hear that there are floors that will be operating in Rusape, Karoi and Mvurwi.
“This will definitely go a long way in reducing our production costs and ultimately also reduce congestion at the centralised floors.”


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