Tobacco Farming and Agrarian Change in Contemporary Southern Africa–An Introduction

Martin Prowse*, Helena Pérez Niño

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)


For more than a century, tobacco has been a key source of export revenues for both Zimbabwe and Malawi, and, in the past 30 years, production has expanded to parts of Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. The crop continues to be the main livelihood option for millions of citizens in southern Africa, an important source of income and rural employment and one of the few industries in which the region commands a large share of the global market. Combined, exports are almost equivalent to those of Brazil, the world’s largest tobacco exporter. Despite this sizeable footprint, tobacco has been relatively neglected in the literature on development trajectories and the political economy of the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Southern African Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

The guest editors of this Special Issue wish to thank the authors of the individual articles for their contributions and patience, the editors of the Journal of Southern African Studies and, in particular, all those involved in the tobacco sector who have repeatedly engaged with researchers to foster dialogue and greater understanding of the importance of ‘green gold’ to communities and economies throughout the region. Martin Prowse wishes to recognise the support and hospitality of colleagues in the region and the contribution of Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development funding under grant number ES/K011693/1 through the Development Frontiers Research Fund. He also wishes to recognise the role of the late Professor Colin Murray in stoking his research interest in tobacco some two decades ago. Mlendo ndi amene ayenda ndi kalumo kakuthwa.


Dive into the research topics of 'Tobacco Farming and Agrarian Change in Contemporary Southern Africa–An Introduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this