(Last Updated on March 16, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – Tight Covid-19 regulations are going to be placed at various tobacco selling points with the selling season set to open on the 7th of April.
Zimbabwe is expecting a bumper harvest of the cash crop this year following a good rainy season for the farmers across the country.
In a statement, the tobacco regulatory body, Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said the marketing season was set to open next month with concerted awareness campaigns across the selling points.
“The 2021 auction tobacco marketing season opens on Wednesday 7th April 2021. Contract tobacco sales will open on Thursday 8th April 2021. All selling points shall actively spearhead Covid-19 awareness campaigns at their respective premises including displaying relevant posters and fliers,” read part of the statement.
The regulatory body said it was going to rope in various stakeholders including law enforcement agencies to assist in the processes.
“The TIMB will enlist all relevant authorities, which include the Zimbabwe Republic Police and local government authorities, to enforce the complete closure and removal of all flea markets and all vendors around the perimeter of the auction and contract sales floors ahead of and during the 2021 Tobacco Marketing Season.
“The farmer shall be notified of his or her tentative selling time at the point of booking and only one farmer/representative to attend the sales. 6. Selling floors shall accept tobacco deliveries as from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm, with trucks arriving outside the permissible time being turned away,” TIMB further said in the statement.
“A maximum of only two people are allowed on-board the tobacco delivery trucks (driver and assistant only). The “delivery today and sale tomorrow” policy will be enforced in full. Banking facilities at sales floors should meet ALL Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (MoHCC) set COVID-19 guidelines. Premises, and in particular areas that have high human contact and moving traffic, will be continuously disinfected before, during and after-sales. Schedules and records of disinfection should be displayed.”
Three auction floors, that is, Tobacco Sales Floor Limited (TSF), Gleneagles Road, Willowvale, Harare, Boka Tobacco Floors (BTF), S. Mazorodze/ Stoneridge Roads, Waterfalls, Harare and Premier Tobacco Auction Floor (PTAF), Willowvale will be used during this season’s sales.
Earlier today, the board also noted that there was a significant improvement in terms of land planted this year, with around 125 000 hectares planted compared to 105 000 planted last year.