THE 2018 tobacco output has finally reached 1999/2000 levels, with the crop reaching 233 million kilogrammes by day 78 of the marketing season. In 2000, at peak production, the country produced 236 million kilogrammes. Ian Scoones, a United Kingdom-based agriculture expert, said the growth in tobacco production is one of the great success stories of the post-2000 land reform. “No-one believed that large numbers of smallholders could deliver the level of output that was previously produced by few large-scale farms,” he said. “The large array of contracting companies has been an important driver of success, alongside consistent support from the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) and serious personal investment by small-scale farmers. The success is potentially replicable to other crops…