Uncertainty About Zimbabwe Sales Season

The Tobacco Sales Floor in Harare

Zimbabwe’s tobacco marketing season will open on April 22, according to Patrick Davenish, chairman of the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB).

The dates may change depending on the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” Davenish told reporters.

“If it becomes worse we may come up with other options depending on the situation on the ground.”

The TIMB is considering conducting sales with a small number of farmers 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.