Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Mashonaland Central Report for Congress 2010


Commercial Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe

Congress 2010




The season started of very slowly on the row cropping side and due to financial risk this sector was paralyzed by high interest rates and shortage of finance. The farmers who managed to finance themselves were at high risk from Land Invasions and very little protection from the local law enforces who themselves had few recourses at their disposal .The Tobacco sector with finance from the Trade was buoyant and development in terms of Capital for new curing units as well as production was abundant. The tobacco produced in this province is up on last year with some very good quality produced and good prices being received .The Settler farmers like the row croppers have had a difficult season with very little inputs available, and those that were available, came too late and because of the shortages, corruption was exposed with the distribution of fertilizers, seed and chemicals.


The season was erratic at times with rains experienced being patchy and a relatively long Mid-season dry spell effecting the row croppers. The commercial crop was above average with supplementary irrigation available. However, the small scale and settler farmers were effected badly by the mid season drought, and with lack of expertise and planning majority of the areas have major shortages of surplice maize and some areas have nothing at all. The dams are full and as I write there is very little wheat being planted .Less than 10 0000 tones is predicted for the season.


The few remaining farmers in this province are struggling to make ends meet in most cases particularly the New Farmers and Commercial Row Croppers, and although financially we are in the real world or were as US$ inflation is now real, this counts for nothing if the current status quo on land continues.


Farming Finance has proved to be a huge burden this past year and with no investor confidence I doubt it will improve in the near future. The interest rates are huge and bank establishment fees etc are very taxing on the farmers.


The province continues to experience Zesa cuts with not much improvement on the horizon. One would think that with so few farmers producing, Zesa would be in abundant supply, for the few who remain. However the shortages continues, and with long power cuts, theft becomes a real  problem when kilometers of conductors are stolen on a daily basis. Resources again are short here and Zesa is totally under-funded so this problem will persist for the foreseeable future.


Most viable projects in this province have been affected by world recession where prices have seen the lowest On Farm Returns on record. Labour costs, Freight, and Disruptions on the farms have not helped the situation with very few projects being able to cope with the prevailing situations.

Row Crops

All Row crops this year have had limited viability except in cases where Farmers are well established and have had good Irrigation infrastructure to deal with the power cuts and rainfall shortages. Yields in the Commercial sector have been good but producer prices have been lower than usual. The small scale sector and settler areas have not produced to expectation with .major shortages in inputs


finance and expertise therefore leading to late plantings and low yields have been a major contribution to another poor harvest.


As above this crop has increased with a much larger crop expected this year but with the producer price dropping recently, viability is of huge concern for new growers wanting to get into Tobacco Production.


Obviously with all the late rains there is plenty of grazing and water is in abundant supply for

Livestock. The Cattle in this province are looking good, however with fires already starting one

wonders how long the grass will last for.


The Province has definitely struggled to produce to its potential, and with all the problems all forms of farmers continue to experience, this potential will not be achieved in the near future. It will take bold steps by the powers that be to get this province back to where it should be, and that is the flag ship of Zimbabwean Agriculture. I would like to thank the Presidium, Director and Management teams at the C F U for all the good work done on behalf of all the Farmers by organizing some inputs for both crop and livestock farmers at reduced rates, it may not have been enough but hopefully new input and finance schemes will help build membership in the future. For the Non Farmers both Louis Fick and Charles Taffs have had a fantastic year in trying to sort out the Compensation and Compensation related matters. All records we hope will be held in key locations so when the time is right, be it this year or in the distant future there is no scrambling to find any record for any farm.

Finally to the Director, President, and Council, may 2010/ 2011 be fruitful for you all




Thank you.

Aidan Bruk-Jackson


02 July 2010


President’s Council 2010

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