Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Evicted Farmers Supplying Bulk Of Imported Maize

Evicted Farmers Supplying Bulk Of Imported Maize

Bulawayo, June 11, 2012- The bulk of imported maize being supplied to hungry 
Zimbabweans is coming from former white commercial farmers evicted during 
the 2000 chaotic land invasions and now farming in Zambia.

Recipients of the government’s grain loan scheme in Matabeleland were last 
week shocked to discover that the names on the stickers on the grain bags 
were of former white farmers.

The Zimbabwe government has imported 300,000 tonnes of maize from Zambia to 
feed millions of its citizens who are facing starvation.

Following the chaotic land seizures, most white commercial farmers, who were 
dispossessed of their farms fled to Zambia where they bought new farms. 
Since then Zimbabwe, which used to be southern Africa’s bread basket, has 
been buying most of its maize grain staple from Zambia, to augment available 

“Last week I received two bags of maize grain under the grain loan scheme 
from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot in Insiza. One of the bags had a 
green sticker inside written, ‘supplied by Michel Handris’, a former Karoi 
commercial farmer. The sticker had also the contact details of Handris, who 
is now farming in the southern parts ofZambia,” said Edmore Ndlovu.

Villagers who spoke to Radio VOP, in Umguza, also confirmed receiving maize 
bags with stickers bearing names of former white commercial farmers.

“We are now required to destroy all the Zambian bags and repackage the grain 
in our local bags,” said a GMB source.

He said that the fact that some former Zimbabwean farmers were supplying 
maize had angered some senior Zanu (PF) officers and the minister of 

Zimbabwe faces a one million tonne maize deficit due to drought, with nearly 
half of the national crop coming up for harvest this month failing due to 
poor rains.

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made recently said nearly 45 percent of the 
maize crop that was planted last farming season was a completewrite-off.

The country needs at least 2, 2 million tonnes of maize to feed itself 
annually but Made said Harare currently has only 400,000 tonnes of maize 
stocks, which must be complemented by imports to prevent hunger.

Donor organisations say they are re-assessing their assistance to Zimbabwe 
to see how they can cope with the shortfall in both crop and funding. Last 
year the United Nations said it would raise nearly $200 million for aid 
efforts in Zimbabwe with half going to food security for more than 1.4 
million people. But a funding shortfall affected the donor groups’ efforts 
to assist.


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