HARARE – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has engaged banks to give tobacco farmers US$300 daily at the auction floors.
“In order to ensure a smooth payment system that is consistent with international best practice on daily cash withdrawal limits, growers shall be paid a maximum of $300 per day through banks stationed at the Auction floors.
“This shall be disbursed at all banks stationed at the auction floors, upon presentation of the respective sales statement by the farmers. The balance shall be transferred into the grower’s bank account or mobile money wallet,” said RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya in a statement today.
The move is part of broader initiatives by the central bank to incentive the sector, which is the country’s third biggest foreign currency earner after gold and platinum.
Late last year, the RBZ announced plans to increase the export incentives for tobacco growers from 5 percent to 12, 5 percent, which Dr Mangudya confirmed today.
The central bank last year increased the Tobacco Finance Facility from $28 million to $78 million for the 2018 planting season in an effort to ensure that the inputs get to the farmer at affordable prices.
Zimbabwe’s 2018 tobacco selling season is set to commence in April.
This is two months later than the traditional February opening because the crop is not yet ripe, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said last week.
TIMB said it carried out a crop assessment and determined that the crop was not yet ready.