Zimbabwe is the largest grower of tobacco in Africa, and the 4th largest grower in the world. Three types of tobacco have traditionally been grown in the country: Virginia flue-cured, burley and oriental tobacco. Over 95% of Zimbabwe’s tobacco consists of flue-cured tobacco, which is renowned for its flavor.The cash crop is a major part of Zimbabwe's economy. In 2017, tobacco accounted for 11% of the country's GDP, and 3 million of the country's 16 million people depended on tobacco farming for their livelihood. The main export market is China, which purchased 54% of Zimbabwe's exports in 2015.
Tobacco was grown in Zimbabwe for subsistence purposes even before the British arrived in Africa. In 1889, the British South Africa Company established British rule over what became Southern Rhodesia. The European colonists reserved half of the country's land for their own use. : 51 Rhodesia modeled its tobacco industry on the United States, adopting American production methods to grow Virginia tobacco.The highveld was not desirable for growing food crops and raising livestock, so the Company turned to tobacco as a crop that could thrive in the sandy soil.
Rhodesian tobacco found a ready export market, as Rhodesia was in a customs union with South Africa and had Imperial Preference in the British market. : 51 By the 1950s, Rhodesia was producing over 100 million pounds of tobacco each year, 99% of it Virginia flue-cured tobacco. At its peak, Rhodesia produced 20% of the world's flue-cured tobacco.
In 1965, the white minority government of Rhodesia declared independence from Great Britain. International sanctions against Rhodesia eliminated many export markets, and the anti-smoking movement reduced global demand for tobacco. In 1968, Rhodesia was hit by the worst drought in 40 years. White farmers were also targeted for assassination by black rebels in the Rhodesian Bush War. As a result, the Rhodesian tobacco crop declined from 325 million pounds in 1965 to 132 million pounds in 1971.
In 1979, the civil war ended with the Lancaster House Agreement, which granted the country black majority rule. For the next 20 years, Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF government allowed the whites to keep farming the land. Tobacco production recovered and peaked at 260 million kilograms (570×106 lb) in 1998.
At independence, almost half of the country's arable land was owned by whites, who made up less than 5% of the population.Although land reform had been a major rallying cry of the black rebels, the Lancaster House Agreement prohibited nationalization of land before 1990. White-owned land could only be transferred to blacks on a "willing buyer, willing seller" basis, and purchases were funded by the British government. Although white farmers felt some apprehension as the 1990 deadline approached, no large-scale land confiscations took place.
In 1997, Tony Blair led the Labour Party to victory in the British general election after 18 years of Conservative rule. In 1999, Mugabe accused Blair of reneging on previous commitments made to Zimbabwe by the Conservatives.In 2000, Zimbabwe began to forcibly seize white-owned farmland without compensation and redistribute the land to blacks. The new black settlers were unskilled in tobacco farming and did not hold title to the land, so they lacked the collateral needed to obtain bank loans. Much of Zimbabwe's farmland went out of cultivation, and the tobacco crop bottomed out at 48 million kg in 2008, just 21% of the 2000 crop. Tobacco production in Zimbabwe hit record highs of 252 million kg in 2019 according to statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.
In 2005, the contract system was introduced into Zimbabwe. Buyers like British American Tobacco began to contract with tobacco farmers to buy their entire crop at the end of the season. In return, the buyer would supply the farmer with all necessary inputs, including seed and fertilizer.Buyers also took greater responsibility for the crop, sending agronomists to the contracted fields to advise farmers on agricultural techniques and make sure that tobacco workers were paid on time.
In 2005, China Tobacco began to invest in Zimbabwe through its subsidiary, Tian Ze Tobacco. The entry of the Chinese into the Zimbabwean tobacco market drove up sales prices and improved contract terms. Farmers were able to lease agricultural equipment from Tian Ze on a 3-year repayment schedule. By 2016, Tian Ze was issuing US$40 million each year in interest-free loans to tobacco farmers.
Tobacco production recovered under the contract system of agriculture. The 2018 tobacco crop of 258 million kg was a new record for the post-land reform era, almost reaching the all-time peak of 260 million kg achieved in 1998. The structure of the industry has been completely overturned. 1,500 large-scale tobacco farmers grew 97% of the crop in 2000, but 110,000 small-scale tobacco farmers grew 65% of the crop in 2013.The white farmers had sold most of their tobacco at auction, but 80% of Zimbabwe's tobacco crop was grown under contract in 2016. Most of Zimbabwe's tobacco crop was sold to European and American companies in 2000, but 54% of Zimbabwe's tobacco exports were sold to China in 2015.
|Source: 1980–2000; 2004–2005; 2008; 2010–2013; 2014; 2015; 2016–2017; 2018–2019;|
Rhodesia, officially from 1970 the Republic of Rhodesia, was an unrecognised state in Southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in territory to modern Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was the de facto successor state to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been self-governing since achieving responsible government in 1923. A landlocked nation, Rhodesia was bordered by South Africa to the south, Bechuanaland to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east. From 1965 to 1979, Rhodesia was one of two independent states on the African continent governed by a white minority of European descent and culture, the other being South Africa.
Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the north, and Mozambique to the east. The capital and largest city is Harare, and the second largest is Bulawayo.
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Ian Douglas Smith was a Rhodesian politician, farmer, and fighter pilot who served as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. He was the country's first premier born and raised in Rhodesia, and led the predominantly white government that declared independence from the United Kingdom in November 1965 following a prolonged dispute with the British government, which demanded black majority rule as a condition for independence. Smith remained Prime Minister for almost all of the 14 years of international isolation that followed for the unrecognised state, and he oversaw Rhodesia's security forces during most of the Bush War, which pitted the government against communist-funded black nationalist fighters. Smith remains a highly controversial figure.
Land reform in Zimbabwe officially began in 1980 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, as an effort to more equitably distribute land between black subsistence farmers and white Zimbabweans of European ancestry, who had traditionally enjoyed superior political and economic status. The programme's stated targets were intended to alter the ethnic balance of land ownership.
The Rhodesian Bush War, also called the Second Chimurenga as well as the Zimbabwean War of Liberation, was a civil conflict from July 1964 to December 1979 in the unrecognised country of Rhodesia.
White Zimbabweans are Zimbabwean people of European descent. In linguistic, cultural, and historical terms, these Zimbabweans of European ethnic origin are mostly English-speaking descendants of British settlers and a small minority of them are either Afrikaans-speaking descendants of Afrikaners from South Africa and/or those descended from Greek, Portuguese, Italian and Jewish immigrants.
The Southern Rhodesia African National Congress (SRANC) was a political party active between 1957–1959 in Southern Rhodesia. Committed to the promotion of indigenous African welfare, it was the first fully fledged black nationalist organisation in the country. While short-lived — it was outlawed by the predominantly white minority government in 1959 — it marked the beginning of political action towards black majority rule in Southern Rhodesia, and was the original incarnation of the National Democratic Party (NDP); the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU); the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU); and the Zimbabwe African National Union — Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), which has governed Zimbabwe continuously since 1980. Many political figures who later became prominent, including Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, were members of the SRANC.
The history of Rhodesia from 1965 to 1979 covers Rhodesia's time as a state unrecognised by the international community following the predominantly white minority government's Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 11 November 1965. Headed by Prime Minister Ian Smith, the Rhodesian Front remained in government until 1 June 1979, when the country was reconstituted as Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
The Economic History of Zimbabwe began with the transition to majority rule in 1980 and Britain's ceremonial granting of independence. The new government under Prime Minister Robert Mugabe promoted socialism, partially relying on international aid. The new regime inherited one of the most structurally developed economies and effective state systems in Africa. In 2000, the government imposed a land reform program to seize white-owned farms which caused the economy to shrink along with mismanagement, corruption and political instability.
Israel–Zimbabwe relations refers to foreign relations between Israel and Zimbabwe. Neither country has a resident ambassador.
Foreign relations exist between Australia and Zimbabwe. Both countries have full embassy level diplomatic relations. Australia currently maintains an embassy in Harare, and Zimbabwe maintains an embassy in Canberra.
Agriculture plays a crucial role in the lives of Zimbabweans in rural and urban areas. Most of the people in rural areas survive on agriculture and they need support for them to get good yields.
Benjamin Freeth, MBE is a White Zimbabwean farmer and human rights activist from the district of Chegutu in Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe. Together with his father-in-law, Mike Campbell, he rose to international prominence after 2008 for suing the regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for violating the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe. Freeth and Campbell's lawsuit against the Mugabe regime—the case of Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd and Others v Republic of Zimbabwe—was chronicled in the award-winning 2009 documentary film Mugabe and the White African.
Racism in Zimbabwe was introduced during the colonial era in the 19th century, when emigrating white settlers began racially discriminating against the indigenous Africans living in the region. The colony of Southern Rhodesia and state of Rhodesia were both dominated by a white minority, which imposed racist policies in all spheres of public life. In the 1960s–70s, African national liberation groups waged an armed struggle against the white Rhodesian government, culminating in a peace accord that brought the ZANU–PF to power but which left much of the white settler population's economic authority intact.
The Native Tobacco Board, or NTB, was formed in Nyasaland in 1926 as a Government-sponsored body with the primary aim of controlling the production of tobacco by African smallholders and generating revenues for the government, and the secondary aim of increasing the volume and quality of tobacco exports. At the time of its formation, much of Nyasaland's tobacco was produced on European-owned estates, whose owners demanded protection against African tobacco production that might compete with their own, and against the possibility that profitable smallholder farming would draw cheap African labour away from their estates. From around 1940, the aim of the NTB was less about restricting African tobacco production and more about generating governmental revenues, supposedly for development but still involving the diversion of resources away from smallholder farming. In 1956, the activities, powers and duties of what had by then been renamed the African Tobacco Board were transferred to the Agricultural Production and Marketing Board, which had powers to buy smallholder surpluses of tobacco, maize, cotton and other crops, but whose producer prices continued to be biased against peasant producers.
The 1930 Land Apportionment Act made it illegal for Africans to purchase land outside of established Native Purchase Areas in the region of Southern Rhodesia, what is now known as Zimbabwe. Before the 1930 act, land was not openly accessible to natives, but there were also no legal barriers to ownership. The Act was passed under British colonial rule in an attempt to prevent a loss of government authority over those native to the region.
David Colville Smith was a farmer and politician in Rhodesia and its successor states, Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Zimbabwe. He served in the cabinet of Rhodesia as Minister of Agriculture from 1968 to 1976, Minister of Finance from 1976 to 1979, and Minister of Commerce and Industry from 1978 to 1979. From 1976 to 1979, he also served Deputy Prime Minister of Rhodesia. He continued to serve as Minister of Finance in the government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979. In 1980, he was appointed Minister of Trade and Commerce of the newly independent Zimbabwe, one of two whites included in the cabinet of Prime Minister Robert Mugabe.
Relations between the UK and Zimbabwe have been complex since the latter's independence in 1980. The territory of modern Zimbabwe had been colonised by the British South Africa Company in 1890, with the Pioneer Column raising the Union Jack over Fort Salisbury and formally establishing company, and by extension, British, rule over the territory. In 1920 Rhodesia, as the land had been called by the company in honour of their founder, Cecil Rhodes, was brought under jurisdiction of the Crown as the colony of Southern Rhodesia. Southern Rhodesia over the decades following its establishment would slowly be populated by large numbers of Europeans emigrants who came to form a considerable diaspora, largely consisting of Britons but also smaller groups of Italians, Greeks and Afrikaners. A settler culture that had already existed since the time of company would come to cement fully and the white population began to identify as Rhodesians, often in conjunction with British/Afrikaner/Southern European identities of their ancestors. Southern Rhodesia would go on to participate heavily in both the First and Second wars, providing soldiers and military equipment to the British war effort. During the years after the war, the relationship between Britain and Southern Rhodesia became increasingly strained. The UK had opted to decolonise Africa and had adopted a firm policy of no independence before majority rule, which deeply upset the white establishment of the colony, in particular the radical Rhodesian Front party led by Winston Field and later, Ian Smith. Relations between the British Government and the colonial Southern Rhodesian government deteriorated for much of the early 1960s and negotiations between the two dragged on with little to no success. Eventually, relations broke down entirely and Southern Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from Britain. The move was met with zero recognition from the international community and the UK government and the illegitimate state was still formally considered under British sovereignty for its roughly 15-year span of existence. For the first 5 years of its proclaimed independence, Rhodesia still declared loyalty to the Queen Elizabeth II as a would-be Commonwealth realm, but this was never recognised by the British monarch who continued to encourage Smith's illegal government to resign. Given her refusal to appoint a Governor-general, from 1965 to 1970 an "Officer Administering the Government" served as the de facto head of state. Rhodesia eventually moved to sever all links with Britain and became a republic with a president in 1970. Throughout the subsequent Rhodesian Bush War between white Rhodesians and black paramilitaries such as ZANU and ZAPU, the UK continued to remain staunchly opposed to the rogue state and extensively sanctioned it, even enforcing blockades using the Royal Navy to cut off Rhodesian oil imports via Portuguese Mozambique. When Rhodesia failed to hold out after 15 years of fighting and came to the negotiating table with the black resistance groups and moderate African nationalist parties, the UK again became directly involved in Rhodesia's affairs. After a brief stint as the nation of Zimbabwe Rhodesia following an Internal Settlement that was denounced by the international community for not being satisfactory enough, the nation transiently reverted to its status as a self-governing British colony before being granted full independence and majority rule as Zimbabwe in 1980 under the landmark Lancaster House Agreement.
Turkey has an embassy in Harare. Zimbabwe opened its embassy in Ankara on October 3, 2019.
The Company's answer to this was tobacco. ... Although it required skills and capital to grow well, it gave a good return on that capital within two years, unlike cattle, and could be grown on the sandy soils of the highveld which had hitherto found few buyers.
He also attacked Mr Blair as a "little man", saying he refused to honour commitments made by previous Conservative governments to help fund Zimbabwe's land reforms.