The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) and farmers’ representative say the introduction of e-marketing during the 2017 marketing season is expected to bring competition and transparency in the industry.

The 2017 tobacco marketing season which kick start next week will usher in a new era as the TIMB introduces e-marketing which will replace the conventional way of selling the golden leaf.

As farmers come face to face with new technology, questions have been raised on the sudden implementation of e-marketing which some experts say the technology could cause congestion and inconveniences on part of both the farmers and auction floors.

However, TIMB boss Dr Andrew Matibiri has demystified the anxiety shown by some farmers and experts saying the e-marketing system will curb unfair practices by merchants and bring efficiency and competition to the advantage of the farmer.

on the issue of how farmers will move their crop in the face of impassable roads, a tobacco expert Mr David Machingaidze advised farmers to form groups and engage reliable transporters.

To avoid congestion in view of the new marketing formula, there is need for TIMB to introduce a method whereby farmers deliver properly graded quality leaf crop in an orderly manner.

The e-marketing system has been successfully used in India and expectations are high that if farmers embrace the new technology all the chaos and corruption which rocked the tobacco industry over the past years will come to an end.