Smallholder tobacco production in Zimbabwe has been a real success, but at what cost to woods and forests?
The growth of smallholder tobacco production in Zimbabwe has been an undoubted success story in recent years. In the last season, there were around 90,000 registered producers producing nearly 170 million kilograms and around $612 million in revenue. This has been made possible in large part by land reform. In addition to tobacco profits providing much needed export earnings for the exchequer, the ability to sell a profitable crop has transformed the lives and livelihoods of many farmers in the tobacco growing areas.