The 2015 tobacco marketing season, which was pushed back from the traditional mid-February, will now begin on March 4.
According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri, the season will begin with auction sales followed by contract sales a day later.
Dr Matibiri said all three auction floors -Tobacco Sales Floors, Premier Tobacco Auction Floors and Boka Tobacco Auction Floors – will be operating again this year.
Bookings are expected to start tomorrow and auction floors are expected to start receiving deliveries from Wednesday next week.
He added that they were now working on the list of buyers that would be operating from the three auction floors.
“There are a few buyers that are still to submit all their paperwork and we are just waiting to clear these minor issues before we come up with a final list,” he said.
There were 18 registered Class A buyers and contractors last season while the TIMB again shut the door on Class B buyers, who have over the years been barred from participating in sales due to their corrupt activities.
On this year’s crop and preparedness for the season, Dr Matibiri said that their teams were still doing their assessments.
There were concerns that recent rains that had affected the dryland crop, which constitutes the bulk of the crop. The dryland crop was still at varying growth stages.
Tobacco is one of the country’s top foreign currency earners and accounts for 10,7 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.