Cotton is Zimbabwe’s second most important export crop after tobacco (Mariga, 1994) and, moreover, 75 per cent of the crop emanates from the smallholder sector (Larsen, 2002). The role of tobacco in the national economy is rapidly declining, however, because of falling global demand and the deepening crisis among Zimbabwe’s large scale commercial farms since the early 1990s. Cotton thus remains important for export earnings, even though it is faced with increasing global competition, including the effects of controversial subsidies for cotton farmers in the USA (Watkins, 2003).