'Evicted white farmers feed Zimbabwe'

HARARE - The maize being imported into Zimbabwe from Zambia is coming from white commercial farmers evicted during the often-violent land invasions here, President Robert Mugabe has ironically conceded.

Speaking at a Zanu PF rally held on Friday at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura, Mugabe said the country was importing tonnes of the staple maize grain from Zambia to plug a deficit after bad weather affected the crop from the current farming season.

“…iye zvino tiri kutenga chibage kuZambia, Zambia yakatora mabhunu aiva kuno ndokuvapa nzvimbo ndosaka vaine chibage chakawanda kupfuura chavanoda ivo… (at the moment we are importing maize from Zambia, Zambia gave former Zimbabwean white commercial farmers land and that’s why they have surplus food),” Mugabe said.

Zimbabwe requires at least 1,8 million tonnes of maize annually and has over the years relied on imports from neighbouring countries, including Zambia and South Africa, to plug the gap from local production.

Zimbabwe has been gripped by a political and economic crisis since the government launched a campaign in 2000 to seize white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

The policy gutted commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe.

Currently,more than 1,5 million people, more than 10 percent of the population, face hunger, WFP said.

One particularly worrying symptom of Zimbabwe’s vulnerability to food and nutrition security is the alarming rate of chronic malnutrition, with levels of stunted growth among children getting worse.

Comments (12)

While i agree with Daily News on many issues, i differ on the notion that being civilized is leaving your land in the hands of whites. No. land reform was supposed to happen. I also differ with Zanu PF on the approach taken. There are many ways of sustainably conducting a land reform. Even when those are employed, there is a decline in productivity before a rise is seen. Who doesn't know that there is el nino induced drought? Without drought, in previous year did Zimbabwe import maize? Being opposition does not mean denigrate your own people. On another note, when you buy Lobels bread and feed your family, is Lobels feeding your family or its you?

XG - 23 March 2016

XG, for your own information, Zimbabwe has always been importing maize because we havent been producing enough to feed the nation. Yes we took the land from productive hands and gave to lazy people who are used in working in towns. Move around the country and see for yourself how many farms are being utilised. The majority of them are now idle. Yes the President is right, the very whites we chased out of the country are now feeding us.

Dhara Dee - 23 March 2016

Dhara Dee, felt the need to defend the white master?

XG - 23 March 2016

XG; You are odious in your response. The truth of the statements made by Dhara Dee are neither black nor white....merely obvious

$ense - 23 March 2016

We accept that we are importing maize from neighbouring countries. Have we asked ourselves why those countries are doing better than us? Two major observations I made are :1. Land was given to undeserving people who never thought of buying land for agriculture. Since an opportunity only came their way they had to take it. To substantiate my statement just make a snap survey to find out how many days in a year do these new farmers sleep on their small plots or commercial farms like the white commercial farmers did. Even those that were given tractors during farm mechanization program they stay with the tractors in towns or growth points.Agricultural support or financing goes to ZANU PF big fishes who do not have time for farming but attending rallies and political meetings in Harare. 2. Those who got commercial farms under fast track do not have agricultural qualifications and at the same time do not want to employ qualified Farm Managers from colleges like Chibero and Gwebi. They want to use government Extension personnel whom they do not pay and as a result are not accountable to results fro the farm. There are a lot of issues to be addressed for our land reform to be a success. Those blames on Elnino and other droughts are not justified because we are in the same region with Zambia and South Africa.

FCVXXX - 23 March 2016

@FCVXXX - I agree with your observations. That's why i said the approach is where i differ with Zanu PF. Land should have been given to deserving, capable people, not Zanu PF card members as the criterion. The approach of kicking everyone off the farms without a strategy for sustainability and compensation for developments made is another issue that should have been amicably resolved. Now El Nino is affecting further south than the North. South of Mozambique is dry and the North, the region where Zambia is is ok. That's why even South Africa is buying grain this year. Dispute that. Mozambique is buying grain. Zambia mooted export ban and its coming soon, because local stocks are low.

XG - 24 March 2016

@$ense - i was hoping you put your facts on down so that i can respond to you. Since you decide to be mediocre, I will engage those who are putting solid arguments like @FCVXXX and Dhara Dee

XG - 24 March 2016

Its quite funny that these days HE is giving sensitive exposes easily. My problem though is that the quality of our journalism is pathetic to say the least. If it is factualt that former Zim white farmers are doing wonders in Zambia, why are there no names, pictures and statistics to back this story?

Samaita - 25 March 2016

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