Tobacco auction floors are ready for the 2018 marketing season which begins on Wednesday next week.

Operators have put all the stops to increase efficiency and enhance order when sales commence.  

Three auction floors were licensed as well as 29 ‘A’ class buyers, while there are 23 authorised contractors to purchase the golden leaf. 

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) conducted a final inspection tour of Boka, TSF and Premier auction floors as well as MTC contract floor in Harare today. 

Auction floor operators said they are ready for the season and have improved systems to ensure farmers get their money in a short period of time after conducting sales.

Optimism is high that deliveries will increase slightly and farmers have already started making bookings.

Decentralised floors in Mvurwi, Karoi and Rusape will also be operational.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) announced that farmers will be able to withdraw $300 in cash per sale, which should be a welcome move for growers of the golden leaf. Foreign currency worth around US$500 million is normally injected in the economy in the tobacco selling season, thus triggering increased economic activity in both formal and informal sectors.