How Global prices of tobacco have fallen during the land reform in Zimbabwe from the year 2000 “Zimbabwe has experienced a precipitous collapse in its economy over the past five years. The purchasing power of the average Zimbabwean in 2005 has fallen back to the same level as in 1953” (Clemens and Moss, p.1)…
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Tobacco production from Zimbabwe has considerably reduced after the land the implementation of land reform policies in 2000 by the Robert Mugabe government. Zimbabwe government blames natural calamities such as unexpected droughts, floods, and problems global economic orders as the reasons for the heavy downfall of tobacco production in Zimbabwe. In realities, such claims are absolutely nonsenses. The major reason for the current problems in tobacco production is the land reform policies implemented at the beginning of 2000 and the subsequent price drops of tobacco in global market. It should be noted that Zimbabwe is the number one tobacco producer in African region and the third largest in the world behind America and Brazil. “Malawi and Zimbabwe accounted for just under 70% of tobacco produced in Sub–Saharan Africa (SSA) during1965-2004 and 75% during the 1990s. The share of SSA tobacco leaf exports accounted for by Zimbabwe and Malawi is even higher – 87% during 1965-2004” (Poulton et al, p.6). Moreover, Zimbabwe is the world's biggest tobacco exporter, and tobacco is the country's biggest foreign-currency earner, bringing in some $430 million in 1994” (Zimbabwe Tobacco Exports). ...
The remaining 6 million hectares have been reserved for national parks and wildlife, and for urban settlements”(Zimbabwe). Tobacco and maize are the major agricultural crops in Zimbabwe. Majority of the tobacco produced in Zimbabwe is exporting to overseas countries. In fact the major source of foreign money for Zimbabwe is tobacco export. Under such circumstances, any price dips of tobacco in global markets may adversely affect the growth prospects of this country. The share of major crops in the agricultural export of Zimbabwe is illustrated in the following figure. Share of agricultural exports. (Zimbabwe). From the above figure, it is evident that tobacco production has increased consistently from the period from 1985 to 2000, even though some of the other crops suffered setbacks during this period. Moreover the value of exports also increased considerably during this period. However, from 2000 onwards, agricultural sector in general and the tobacco sector in particular started to exhaust in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe governments implemented many changes in the agricultural sector which brought more harm than the good. For example, the programme of “fast-track land resettlement and redistribution” started in 2000, has brought many problems in Zimbabwe. The above programme is still continuing in Zimbabwe even amidst criticisms from both internal and external sources. In fact these land reformation policies created more panic among the farmers their interests in farming has completely lost at present. Land ownership is a controversial subject in Zimbabwe over the last few decades. Governments implemented periodical changes in land ownership which brought many political and economic changes in the country.
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