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Renewed Farm Invasions Causing Further Damage to Zimbabwe Agriculture

  • Chris Gande

CFU President Charles Taffs said donors have cut funding by about 75 percent to farming in the country because they see Zimbabwe’s problems as the result of poor governmental policy

The Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe says a new surge in invasions of white-owned farms poses a threat to funding for the troubled sector.

The CFU said agriculture needs US$2.5 billion dollars a season, but is only getting US$300 million from all sources including public and private financing.

The union said two farmers have been killed in the last few months while another survived a knife attack. It said farm invaders are in breach of investment protection agreements Zimbabwe has signed with Germany and Belgium.

CFU President Charles Taffs said donors have cut funding by about 75 percent to farming in the country because they see Zimbabwe’s problems as the result of poor governmental policy, including the land reform program launched in 2000.

CFU Vice President Peter Steyl said the escalating violence appears to be aimed at white farmers only. "We don't know whether this is part of the violence that we are seeing around the country. As you know last weekend Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's rally was disrupted because of violence," Taffs said.

He said his group has expressed its concerns to the prime minister.

Agricultural expert Mandla Nkomo said the upsurge in invasions is disturbing because it comes just as farmers across the country are getting ready to plant.

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