RBZ sets daily cash withdrawal limits at $300 for tobacco farmers

Rudo Boka

HARARE,– The central bank says tobacco farmers can withdraw $300 cash per day when tobacco sales begin later this month as shortages of dollar notes persist.

The southern Africa country is suffering from a crippling shortage of dollar notes, with daily withdrawals capped at $20 per day in some cases. The introduction of the surrogate bond note currency in November 2016 has failed to alleviate the crisis.

“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… the balance shall be transferred into the grower’s bank account or mobile money wallet,” governor John Mangudya said in a statement on Tuesday.

He did not say if farmers would receive actual US dollar notes or bond notes. Zimbabwe, which abandoned its currency in 2009  after historic hyperinflation, uses the greenback as its chief currency.

The tobacco marketing season starts on March 21, with between 185 million and 200 million kilogrammes expected this year.

Tobacco is a major foreign currency earner for the country, with $827,4 million in export earnings as at November 22  last year.

In a  bid to encourage tobacco growing, the central bank increased the export incentive for farmers from 5 percent to 12,5 percent. It also increased the Tobacco Finance Facility from $28 million last year to $70 million for the 2018 planting season. – Source