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Zimbabwe Hopes for Some Relief in Tobacco Sales


Buyers, sellers and other stakeholders at the tobacco auction floor in Harare on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe opened its tobacco selling season this week after a month-long delay because of the coronavirus lockdown.

The lockdown had been due to end on Friday but was extended for a further two weeks.

Government officials at the tobacco auction floor in Harare on Wednesday.
Government officials at the tobacco auction floor in Harare on Wednesday.

Tobacco is Zimbabwe's second-biggest foreign currency earner after gold.

The decision to press ahead with the sale came as a relief to thousands of farmers who had already been affected by a severe drought.

Nonetheless they fear the lockdown will have a major impact on their business this year.

They say their concerns include travel restrictions and a new rule that requires them to sell their crop through a go-between.

One of the world's top exporters alongside Brazil, Zimbabwe sends most of its tobacco to China, Europe and the Middle East.

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