The tobacco marketing season began on Wednesday, but the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) threw preparations into disarray after it reneged on its earlier commitment to pay farmers 50% of their sale proceeds in foreign currency.

Instead, the central bank says farmers will now be paid 100% in RTGS$.

“Merchant is going to get 100% RTGS$ to enable purchase of tobacco. The farmer will get 100% RTGS$ sales proceeds after deducting all other costs. The farmer will have to, if they require the foreign currency, buy back the 50% foreign currency component using sale date exchange rates and the foreign currency will be credited in their Local FCA Account with their bank,” RBZ said in a communique.

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