By Stanley James
Tobacco growers are set to reap huge financial rewards this summer cropping season in light of revelations that they will get 60 percent of their earnings in foreign currency.
The matter of viable payments is under scrutiny ahead of the opening to the tobacco selling season.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr John Mangudya says tobacco like any export commodity will be standardised on foreign currency retention at 60 percent, with the remainder being paid in local currency.
“The payment modalities have been finalised and we expect them to get the standardised rate,” he said.
The move has been welcomed by farmer organisations with Zimbabwe Tobacco Association President, George Seremwe confident the new payment system will improve viability.
“It is all about ensuring that we can go back to the field,” he said.
The latest development is also expected to restore confidence as alluded to by Zimbabwe Farmers Union Chief Economist Dr Prince Kuipa.
“Tobacco growers should use the forex retained on future planning but am hopeful the retention is adequate to cover costs incurred,”
The country is expecting a tobacco output of over 200 million kilogrammes from an average of 180 million this season.
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