The 2017 Tobacco marketing season commenced Wednesday March 15 2017.
This season marks a new age in tobacco marketing as TIMB introduces a new and convenient e-marketing system.
Generally, the concerns from the farmers, are issues to do with prices and swiftness in receiving payments.
“We are anticipating swift transactions at the auction floors because of the e-marketing system which is eliminating the laborious manual work involved in capturing data making processing of sales sheets faster,” said ZFU Crop specialist Mr Simbarashe Muchena.
This new marketing system allows buyers to bid through electronic gadgets doing away with the old system were buyers would be shouting their bids.
Farmers will be outside the sales rows but will be viewing transactions on screens displayed in the sales floors.
For the past three seasons, the highest price paid at the auction floors was fixed at $4.99 but this new e-marketing system is discouraging price collusion by buyers,
” We hope the new system will bring transparency in the auction sales, breaking the $4.99 highest paid price,” said Mr Muchena.
“For this coming season, we hope for fair pricing - good quality tobacco should fetch good price, a huge price differential for the same tobacco grade is undesirable,” he added.
Proceeds from the sale of tobacco will be paid through farmers’ bank accounts and electronic platforms.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, TIMB and Tobacco Farmers Associations advises that under the current 2017/18 Tobacco selling season individual small scale farmers will be allowed to withdraw US$1,000 cash from their first tobacco sale and US$500 cash for subsequent sales.
Large scale commercial farmers will be required to justify their cash requirements through their bankers, which requests will be considered through the application of KYC principles by their bankers.
The commercial farmers will be required to give a day’s notice for such cash withdrawals.