Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
The tobacco industry is yet to come up with opening dates for the 2020 marketing season, with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board expected to consult with stakeholders.
Normally, the tobacco marketing season starts in March every year and farmers have started preparing for the marketing season.
TIMB chief executive, Dr Andrew Matibiri yesterday said they were yet to come up with the opening date.
“We are going to consult with other stakeholders before we come up with the opening dates,” he said.
“The stakeholders will come up with the recommendations which will be taken on board when deciding when to open the floors.”
Dr Matibiri could not shed light on this year’s payment modalities and said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was going to outline the system.
Meanwhile, the TIMB had registered 147 528 farmers for the 2020 marketing season.
Of these 90 110 are communal, 50 860 are A1, 7 750 are small scale, 8 808 are A2.
The registrations have declined by 14 percent from the 171 269 farmers who had registered during the same period last year.
The decline in the tobacco registrations had been attributed by tobacco experts to the challenges faced by farmers last season.
Tobacco farmers want the RBZ to simplify access to the US dollar component of their proceeds, including a portion to be withdrawn in cash, ahead of the opening of this year’s marketing season.