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The new tobacco selling season kicks off today with the opening ceremony this morning at the Tobacco Sales Floor in Harare and with contract sales opening tomorrow.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has since licensed the three traditional auction floors in Harare, Boka Tobacco Floors, Tobacco Sales Floor, and Premier Tobacco Floors.

Meanwhile, tobacco growers are anticipating a bumper harvest after good rains and adequate supplies of inputs.

According to the TIMB, 180.8 million kg valued at $452.3 million was delivered to the country’s contract and auction floors last year. Last year’s average price was $2.50 per kg.

Zimbabwe exports its tobacco mostly to China and the European Union.

Following a policy change by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, tobacco farmers are set to receive 60 percent of payment in foreign currency and the remainder in local currency.

Last year, farmers were paid 50 percent of their proceeds in U.S. dollars with the other 50 percent being in Zimbabwe dollars.