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Zimbabwe beef shortages: a man-made crisis

26 January 2007

ZIMBABWE - When the chaotic land reform programme started in 2000, the government made what appeared to be a very sensible decision amongst its bundling.

That decision was that all seed growing farms would be classified as agrobusinesses and would therefore not be invaded and taken over.

However, like many decisions made by a beleaguered regime, who was there to ensure that those farmers growing seed for the nation were spared? These farms were also invaded with the same reckless abandon which has become the hallmark of Zanu PF.

The end result was that the country lost the expertise required to grow seed from embryo to foundation to commercial. This accounts for the annual shortage of seed in the country. While it might appear as if there is enough maize seed since it is available in shelves, the cost is so high that many farmers only buy what they require to grow their own food!

It will take many years before we again produce enough seeds for this country.

As an example, John Berry was a potato seed producer in Kwe Kwe and he supplied seed potatoes in the whole of the Midlands. He was evicted; now farmers have nowhere to buy seed potatoes. As a matter of fact, the bulk of his customers were black farmers.

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Source: New Zimbabwe


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