A huge spike in the illicit cigarette trade has decimated the livelihoods and operations of black tobacco farmers, with many losing income and now exploring other avenues to survive.

The Black Tobacco Farmers’ Association (BTFA) told Business Times that at its peak, the tobacco industry had more than 150 black tobacco farmers but this has now dwindled to a handful who are exploring other options for survival until there is certainty on the future of the South African tobacco industry. ..

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