The dates for the tobacco marketing season have been set to the 22nd of April 2020 and they are subject to change due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
This was revealed by Patrick Davenish, the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) chairperson while speaking to Standardbusiness on Friday. He said:
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The position is that we have set the tobacco marketing season dates to the 22nd of April 2020 and what that means is that it gives us a month to monitor developments regarding the virus.
If it becomes worse we may come up with other options depending on the situation on the ground.
He added that other options that can be viable for this marketing season including having sales with a small number of farmers are being considered while the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association was conducting awareness campaigns on farms.
Patrick Dutiro, a member of Parliament’s agriculture committee, suggested the decongestion of auction floors during the selling season and payment of farmers in foreign currency to discourage them from going to banks to withdraw their money in local currency.
Tobacco is one of Zimbabwe’s major sources of foreign currency and suspending the marketing season could translate to severe loss.
More: The Standard