Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Farmers warn that Zim agriculture is in ‘major crisis’

Farmers warn that Zim agriculture is in ‘major crisis’

By Alex Bell
20 March 2012

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) has warned that Zimbabwe is facing a 
“major crisis,” after a third of the country’s maize crops were declared a 
write off.

The state media has quoted Agriculture Minister Joseph Made as stating that 
the country faces a serious grain deficit, blaming a ‘prolonged dry spell’. 
He told the Herald newspaper that the government had halted sales from its 
‘strategic grain reserves’ following the bleak results of a state assessment 
of the country’s maize crops.

The CFU’s President, Charles Taffs, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that he 
agreed with Made that Zimbabwe is in trouble agriculturally, with the 
country once again unable to feed itself. But he disagreed with the weather 
being blamed for the situation.

“We can’t continue to blame drought. It’s quite absurd that this is still 
used as an excuse,” Taffs said, adding that the reason behind the deficits 
is that “agriculture continues to be undermined.”

The country has been struggling to feed itself for more than a decade after 
productive farms were seized from commercial farmers and handed to top ZANU 
PF officials, as part of the land grab campaign. In 2008 this campaign was 
declared unlawful by the regional human rights court, but nothing has been 
done to correct the situation.

The result has been a country facing hunger, which ZANU PF has been quick to 
blame either on Western imposed targeted sanctions or the weather.

But as Taffs said, the treatment of the agricultural sector is the main 

“There is first of all no funding for agriculture and no security of 
tenure,” Taffs explained.

He said: “You know we actually have no problem with who owns the land. We 
have a problem with how the land is used,” adding that the there is no 
reason anymore why Zimbabwe should be relying on food aid or imports to 


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