Zimbabwe’s tobacco selling season has started, but there are still many challenges facing the industry, as tobacco-farmers hope the sales continue to increase.
While the sector is said to be growing again, production is still much lower than 12 years ago, when white-owned farms were controversially seized by the government.
Zimbabwe’s tobacco output plummeted in 2000 when its land reform programme was introduced. The state-sponsored exercise gave white-owned commercial farms to landless blacks.
According to Hames Mutambanesango, from Tobacco Sales Floor Limited, production had dipped as low as 40m kilos, yet starting in 2010 the figure rose to 123m kilos, and in 2011 it rose further to 132.5m kilos.
Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa reports from Harare.