A new board for the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has been appointed and will immediately take over the running of the tobacco industry in the country.

The new board, led by Mrs. Monica Chinamasa, takes over from the Njodzi Machirori-led team and has the immediate task of addressing challenges being faced by tobacco farmers.

Announcing the new appointments, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made, challenged the new board to address issues of tobacco pricing and welfare of small scale farmers.

“We hope the board will address the current challenges being experience by our farmers. I hope the new board will address the issue of licensing new players in the industry in order to afford new business opportunities  to new players,” he said

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Mrs. Chinamasa will be deputised by Mr. Nimrod Chiminya.

Other Board members include Mr. John Mapondera, Mrs Emily Mbengegwi, Dr Chrispen Sikhume, Dr Jane Gonese, Mrs. Mercy Chizodza, Professor David Simbi, Dr Ephraim Hwingwiri and Mr. Joseph Gondo.

The new chairperson expressed optimism that the new board will bring sanity to the tobacco industry.

She SAID, “We are going to make sure that we work all year round so that we do not face a pot of pressure when it comes to the marketing season which is the most critical part.”

This year, the marketing of tobacco was characterised by chaos at the floors with farmers spending weeks before they could get a chance to sell their crop.

The Machirori-led board was accused of taking a back seat instead of being pro-active at a time the health and welfare of farmers was being compromised.