The Political Economy of Tobacco Production and Control in Zimbabwe: A Document Analysis

Tobacconomics with colleagues at Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, the Training and Research Support Centre, the University of Ottawa, and McGill University developed this comprehensive overview of the political economy of tobacco production and control in Zimbabwe. It emphasizes the ways that institutions, interests, policy, and markets have shaped farm-level production, following recent developments in both market structure and the policy landscape to provide a broad perspective on the trajectory and patterns of tobacco production in Zimbabwe. While there have been large fluctuations in tobacco production over the decades, there continues to be a sustained orientation towards tobacco as a key export commodity. The country has also seen a recent surge in tobacco production shaped by several factors including the more pronounced role of the China National Tobacco Company. The report assesses these factors in the context of the global tobacco control movement and clear evidence from surrounding countries that suggests tobacco is limited in both its macro- (e.g., country level) and micro-economic (i.e., household and individual levels) contributions and questions its viability as a core economic development strategy.

March 2022

Location(s): Africa, Zimbabwe

Content Type: Report

Topic(s): Crop substitution, Economic impacts of tobacco control, Industry globalization, Jobs and productivity, Supply-side issues and interventions

Authors(s): Arne Ruckert, Daniel Ciurlia, Ronald Labonte, Raphael Lencucha, Jeffrey Drope, Ph.D., Nhamo Nhamo, Artwell Kadungure, Zvikie Mlambo