The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) will conclude its crop assessment this Friday in preparation for the 2018 tobacco marketing season.

The regulator said it was worried by the mid-season dry spell but was hopeful that the return of the rains will bring positive results, while farmers with irrigated tobacco are ready for the auctioning season.

TIMB is wrapping up its assessment of the state of the crop around the country and expects to conclude the process this Friday.

TIMB spokesperson Isheunesu Moyo says the state of the crop and the preparedness of the farmers determine the opening dates of trading of the golden leaf.

The mid-season dry spell may have affected a number of farmers but those with irrigated tobacco are already well advanced in terms of their preparedness for the auction system.

For Justice Ganyo, a farmer at New Glenside farm, climate smart farming practices such as the use of irrigation technology is the way to go in fighting the effects of climate change.

All stages have been completed and they are actually bailing in readiness for marketing the crop.

The situation may be different for most A1 farmers who contribute the bulk of the tobacco crop and who mainly rely on rain fed production.