The 2018 tobacco marketing season will start on the 21st of March in a development which will result in an estimated half a billion dollars being injected into the country for crop purchases, thus boosting foreign currency levels.

The Tobacco Industries and Marketing Board confirmed the development, saying advising farmers that marketing season will commence on Wednesday the 21st of this month, while sales will start on the following day.

The development will see foreign buyers injecting around US$500 million in the local economy as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has previously stated.

The season comes at a time the central bank has indicated that it will issue diaspora financing tobacco bonds for the purchasing of the tobacco while deserving merchants will be licensed to use huge sums of RTGS lying in banks.

185 million kilogrammes of tobacco were sold last season, generating US$515 million.

Growers have this season been negatively affected by erratic rainfall in the first part of the season and potato virus y caused by not burning tobacco stalks and observing planting dates.