New farmers have let Zim down

HARARE - Since the turn of the millennium when the Zanu PF-led government embarked on a chaotic and controversial land reform programme to address the land imbalance, the country has continued to suffer from with hunger.

It’s a public secret that the land reform programme led to the collapse of Zimbabwe’s commercial agriculture, turning what had been one of Africa’s most prolific food exporting nations into a food-dependent pauper overnight.

For a country that used not only to feed itself but some of the countries in the region, it makes sad reading that the resettled farmers have failed to utilise the land they grabbed from productive farmers.

We strongly agree with Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire that resettled farmers should take responsibility for the country’s economic collapse because they have failed to utilise the land.

Before the land reform, there were whites who had equipment, expertise, dams and were land was being fully utilised.

After the land redistribution, our people vandalised the equipment and agriculture is now as good as dead.

They even damaged dams they found at farms and the dams that are still intact are underutilised. Now resettled farmers are failing to irrigate their crop.

So this is not an issue of scarce water resources but bad governance and the corrupt allocations of land to people who did not deserve it in the first place.

As such, we are calling upon the government to quickly implement measures to prevent widespread starvation.

We are currently facing a national crisis in the country in terms of food shortages and if the Zanu PF-led government really cared for its citizens — as they publicly want us to believe — then they must quickly address this crisis through a national dialogue to achieve sustainable food security in the country.

For a small country like Zimbabwe with over 140 000 farmers, it shouldn’t be a problem for us to meet the required 2,3 million tonnes of maize annually to feed the nation.

However, this year, like any other year, we have once again produced far less, about 1,4 million tonnes.

We need prompting the government to fork out the limited financial resources at its disposal to import maize because the people who were given the land without capacity are failing to produce.

Zimbabwe’s chronic food insecurity is the result of a complex combination of corruption, financial indiscipline, lawlessness and chaotic policies that have degenerated into failure, misdirected political agendas and lack of agricultural inputs and machinery among other things.

Government on its part must ensure that there is a clear national policy on land tenure and ownership to deal with agriculture’s perennial ill-health.

Without the security of convertible title deeds, farms cannot be used as bankable collateral that would allow the infrastructural development and restoration so essential to the success of the agricultural sector.


Comments (6)

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GALLERYCARTIDGES - 2 September 2014

It was not land distribution but a political gimmick . Do you remembera routers tv clip which showed Morgan receiving cheques from white farmers . The idiots from zanu were so angry with the farmers such that they decided to take the white farmers .s land to fix them . The land was then given to some bastards who instead of farming started digging amagundwane , destroying trees ,burning bushes , poisoning fish in some rivers .poaching .destroying dams .Mind you it is not these people's fault it is the fault of the one who gave them farms knowing well that they knew nothing about commercial farming . As zimbabweans we hope one day the idiot who made the decision to take white farmers , land will be arrested for vandalism in our economical sound farms hopefully that can happen after 2018 elections.

Diibulaanyika - 2 September 2014

The land redistribution exercise is a noble idea it shall always be,the problem is with us people.Dont blame a butcher if the bread is bad.Frankly speaking in many areas we had people who just got land without any idea whatsoever what they could do on it and how they could work on a result we see a lot of farms lying idle.As people we need to be patriotic enough,there is no need for a land audit as our government as bankrupt.all people siting on land they know very well are doing the nation a diservice and are responsible for the atrocities caused by hunger and malnutrition.Those of us who continue with the land and yet they cant do anything in my modest opininion they ought to be charged.we cant have the government as a police for everyone starting from the top government officials.Give fellow brothers a chance to possess what they deserve as a birthright and save our financially crippled state from a white elephant project called land audit .

carson MacateEKE - 4 September 2014

Frankly,people accepted land as it was freely given.If it was being sold,only the enterprising ones could have bought it. If the land had been properly utilized,nobody would be crying.The so called land reform was largely political;hence the very poor implementation.

DONGAWATONGA - 5 September 2014

I don't understand why, with such bad results, Zimbabwe doesn't stop this foolish land reform and invite white farmers and industrials who escaped the country to come back?

Philippe Pruniaux - 6 September 2014

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