The world's largest exporter of flue-cured tobacco last year, is confident of getting higher prices on the international market this season despite an aggressive worldwide anti-smoking lobby.
The tobacco industry feels that notwithstanding the anti-smoking campaign, profits will be high as long:s the emphasis on quality is adhered to -since the world glut is in lower grades of the crop. The Zimbabwe Tobacco Association hopes to sell 190 million kg by the end of the season in October, a 15 per cent hike from last season.
Tobacco is Zimbabwe's biggest foreign exchange earner, grossing nearly 30 per cent of the nation's exports. The industry is dominated by white com- mercial farmers. Black farmers, new in the business, are handicapped owing to the high capital inputs required; they accounted for only 1.2 million kg of the 174 million kg produced last season.(IPS)