Rhodesia, its economy handicapped by trade sanctions since the 1965 declaration of independence, is currently banking on the best tobacco crop for years to inject new life into the country's trade.
SV Tobacco being loaded on to truck on plantation.
CU Tobacco leaves
CU Tobacco picker at work
SV Leaves being carried to lorry and loaded (3 shots)
SV Woman carrying leaves into store.
CU Leaves in bins
SV Farmer talking to interviewer.
SV & CU Farmer speaking.
TRAVEL SHOT past Tobacco Auction Ltd warehouses (2 shots)
LV ZOOM in group of warehouses where tobacco surpluses stored.
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 8): FARMER: "Actually, this is really poor quality tobacco. It is the very end of the crop, and not really of very good saleable quality. But some of the tobacco we've had earlier on has been very good and I think would be very acceptable to the world markets as they are today."
QUESTION: "Who do you think buys the tobacco? Is it the old markets like Britain?".
FARMER: "I'm quite sure that Britain doesn't buy our tobacco any more. But I would sort of hazard a guess that maybe Eastern countries the communist block, really are probably substantial customers."
Initials PS/1524 TH/DU/CO/15.21
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rhodesia, its economy handicapped by trade sanctions since the 1965 declaration of independence, is currently banking on the best tobacco crop for years to inject new life into the country's trade.
Before independence, tobacco was Rhodesia's biggest single export. Sanctions cut the value of the crop by an estimated three-quarters. Pirate buyers moved in to break the blockade and reap any profits that were going.
But after several lean years, the legitimate international buyers are returning in increasing numbers. This year's bumper crop is an added lure. And it seems the buyers can now beat the trade sanctions without risk. A BBC team has been looking into the situation. Their coverage includes an interview with one of the major growers;