Tuesday, February 1

What's Bad For Zimbabwe Is Good For Zambia?

I have previously blogged about Zambia's reliance on cash crops, like tobacco. Evidently, however, tobacco is becoming more prevalent thanks to Zimbabwe's President Mugabe. In 2000, Mugabe siezed 340 massive farms throughout his country. As a result, 340 farmers fled; 150 moved to Zambia. The rest relocated in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and even Nigeria!

Since relocating, tobacco production in Zambia has skyrocketed, added to the country's GDP, created jobs, and spread farming technology. Universal is the world's largest tobacco-leaf purchaser. Last year, it
bought 15 million kilograms of flue-cured tobacco and 3.5 million tons of burley from 47 large growers in Zambia and 5,515 small farmers. That compares with 3.1 million kilograms of flue-cured and 1.8 million kilograms of burley in 2000. The company forecasts Zambia will produce 26.7 million kilograms of tobacco this year.
In addition to tobacco, the farmers grow soy, wheat and flowers. Some export seed corn to Zimbabwe, once an exporter of crop seeds.