The Sunday News
Nontobeko Mlotshwa, Sunday News Reporter
ALL is set for the opening of the 2021 tobacco marketing season this week, with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board advising all stakeholders to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
The 2021 tobacco marketing season is set to begin on Wednesday with hopes the country will surpass last year’s figures.
Tobacco Industry and Marketing chairperson Dr Petson Devenish said all stakeholders must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to prevent the spread of the disease during the selling season.
“We have put circulars encouraging buyers’ merchants and all those involved in the processes to be vaccinated. We have taken all our employees for vaccination because they are frontliners.
‘‘The basic World Health Organising guidelines of sanitising, wearing of masks and social distancing still apply with just one person representing the farmer during the auction process,” he said.
President of Tobacco Farmers Union of Zimbabwe Mr Believe Tavera said due to challenges faced last season, some farmers carried over bills from last season, forcing most farmers to join contract farming schemes for this season but despite all those things they are looking forward to a successful 2021 tobacco marketing season.
“As tobacco farmers, we faced numerous challenges last season that consequently resulted in a decrease in the number of farmers who registered to grow the crop for the 2020/21 season.
“On several platforms, we have urged the authorities to initiate flexible input schemes for tobacco farmers not willing to join the contract system,” he said.
He also urged tobacco farmers to make use of the RBZ forex auction system as they are welcome to purchase or supplement their foreign exchange requirements from the system.