CANNABIS CULTURE – Zimbabwe officials say medical and industrial cannabis is set to overtake tobacco as a major source of export cash by the end of 2021. At present, Zimbabwe is one of the world’s leading producers of Virginia-leaf tobacco.
“This is a historic change for Zimbabwe,” says Anold Soko, an independent agronomist in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. “Cannabis cultivation, especially cannabis oil unlike tobacco doesn’t deplete fresh water, forests or trigger medical warnings. Cannabis could be to us what oil is to Texas.”
Zimbabwe authorities are forecasting that for the first time in the history of the country´s existence, in 2021 cannabis harvesting and export will reach $1.25 billion in a country where the entire national budget hovers around $4 billion. If this comes to pass, cannabis would have dwarfed tobacco which brings about $500 million yearly. Medical and industrial use cannabis, a buoyant and emerging global commodity, underpins Zimbabwe´s strive to become a middle-income country by 2030, says Mthuli Ncube, who is Zimbabwe´s finance minister.
Tobacco is the past
Zimbabwe, a country the size of Germany, is one of the world´s premier cultivators of tobacco but in 2018 it okayed the planting of cannabis for medicinal