Zimbabwe will decentralize its tobacco sales this year to avoid concentrations of people and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“With regards to the tobacco sector, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board has been sitting and consulting our Covid-19 Inter-Ministerial Taskforce, and they have come to an arrangement where the tobacco auction floors are going to be decentralized countrywide to minimize crowding,” said Mnangagwa.
“In the process, they are going to observe the measures, that is, social distancing, and also the question of accommodation will be regulated as to who comes and on which day because the areas of concentration will be limited in terms of the centralization.”
The tobacco marketing season, which normally starts mid-March, was put on hold because of the health threat posed by Covid-19.
Farmers are expected to get half their earnings in U.S. dollars, with the rest in local currency at the prevailing interbank rate.
The date for the opening of the auction floors is yet to be announced.