Tobacco ban to negatively affect the economy

Tobacco is one of the biggest contributors to economic growth and any restrictions or ban on the golden leaf will have serious implications on the economy, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has said.


Last year, tobacco worth $855 million was exported from Zimbabwe with China getting 41% of the total exports.

TIMB chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri yesterday told stakeholders at a consultative workshop on the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) that at household level up to three million people depended on tobacco.

“…any form of restrictions and bans on tobacco have serious implications on livelihoods of our farmers and will definitely and significantly impact on the economy of the country,” Matibiri said.

The WHO framework seeks to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.


Zimbabwe accounts for 20% of the world’s flue-cured tobacco trade.

Matibiri said by virtue of being a major producer of the golden leaf, Zimbabwe must protect its industry from the “negative effects of unbalanced and poorly informed tobacco control legislation adopted by countries which import the leaf produced here.”

He said the current threat to exclude tobacco from international trade agreements and to treat it in a different way from other products which affect health or the environment were not only fair but “also risks becoming a precedent for other excessively restrictive legislation”.

He said there were over 70 000 registered farmers growing tobacco. Of these, over 46 000 were doing so under the contract growing and marketing scheme.

The industry has also spawned in cigarette manufacturers. Currently, there are seven cigarette manufacturers which export over 80% of their produce

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  1. Dont ratify the Framework.

  2. Tobacco is on the way out, whether you like it or not. Any futuristic and capable leadership should be thinking through, evolving and implementing an alternative export strategy. Well, I know I am talking to myself in the context of Zimbabwe as it has never had leadership, that vital but scarce commodity in African, especially Zimbabwean context. Tobacco is worse than hard drugs to human health. Do not count on it any longer, Matibiri, etal.

  3. These farmers can grow other crops and they should start doing that now.
    Tobacco causes death and therefore should be discouraged at all costs. Less and less people around the world now smoke and therefore all farmers with tobacco should start looking at alternatives now.
    Don’t say you were not warned.

  4. It has been scientifically proven that tobacco is hazardous to health that is why we have regulations that require health warnings to be put on cigarette packs. We need to shift to other products for example organic produce which has niche markets and whose demand is rising.

    The moment the Asian countries ride on the anti smoking bandwagon vaona effect ye fodya on their populations and their health budgets we will have no lucrative market. Let those countries who have the interest of their people’s health do what they want.

    Also have you noticed that we do not have high rates of smoking in Zim which is good for us to the extend that over 60% of what we produce is being exported. Seyi tisingaiputi muno yese!

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  6. tobacco haina basa. tobacco farmers should start growing hemp: the plant world powers dont want grown because it will 100% substitute oil

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