In Zimbabwe, tobacco exports brought the country $794 million in 2020, down from a high of $927 million in 2016. Tobacco is the country’s third most valuable export crop after gold and nickel matte. That said, it is also facing a rather existential threat as the industry faces challenges brought about by COVID, a drought and a shift in production heading for South Africa.
In contrast, authorities are already planning for cannabis to be the country’s largest cash crop with earnings well over a billion dollars within the next five years. Last year, the country exported 30 tons of industrial hemp to Switzerland with another 20 tons due to be exported this year.
Tobacco farmers are now being encouraged to switch to cannabis. The hope is that at least a quarter of their income is derived from cannabis sales in just the next three years.
57 companies have now received their licenses from the Zimbabwean government to grow cannabis.
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