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.***

Malawi offers Zimbabwe farmers land

Malawi offers Zimbabwe farmers land

12 October, 2011 10:32

Patrick Musira

Malawi is trying to woo some of Zimbabwe’s white commercial farmers who were 
pushed off their farms by the government’s land reform programme after 2000.

According to information at hand, Malawi hopes to harness the reputed 
expertise of the farmers from Zimbabwe to jump-start that country’s 
commercial agricultural sector in crops other than maize. Malawi had bumper 
maize harvests in the last three years but had a reduced harvest last season 
with a surplus of about 200,000 tonnes in the 2010/2011 season.

Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers’ Union president Charles Taffs said his union 
had received communication from the authorities in Malawi offering land to 
his members.

“The advertised land – at least 112 state farms are on offer to our former 
farmers,” Taffs exclusively told BusinessLive this week, adding: “These 
farms used to belong to former president Kamuzu Hastings Banda and were 
repossessed by the Malawi government after his demise. Now the state wants 
to lease these out and they have given us the first offer.”

“They have confidence in our skills and experience on ‘the finer points of 
commercial farming and finance’ and believe we could make Malawi the 
breadbasket of Africa,” he said.

“We’re very happy to be accorded such recognition,” he said. “Our farmers 
enjoy doing what we do best, which is farming… Africa needs more success 
stories,” he added.

Hoping Zimbabwe’s loss might be its gain, Malawi has offered at least 112 
state farms to the Zimbabwean farmers to be recruited under renewable leases 
in different areas of the country to boost and maintain the state’s 
commercial agriculture projects.

Malawi’s economy has taken a knock after western countries – who were 
financing the country’s balance of payments and budgetary support – pulled 
out after differences over issues of governance, allegations of economic 
mismanagement and President Bingu wa Mutharika’s strong stand against gays 
marriages in the country.

Taffs said the union may help coordinate the move to Malawi if there are any 
takers “but so far there aren’t any. Many still have issues here (in 
Zimbabwe)”, he explained.

White Zimbabwean commercial farmers were made landless by President Mugabe’s 
land reform programme, embarked upon in 2000 when government repossessed 
land to ostensibly give it to landless blacks.

Many of these farmers migrated to different countries on the continent among 
them Mozambique, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo to continue 
their farming operations.


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