Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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‘New’ farmers fail to produce quality produce

‘New’ farmers fail to produce quality produce

Resettled farmers who were allocated land on former commercially owned 
floriculture farms in Matabeleland North have abandoned growing flowers 
after failing to supply quality products to the international market.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare

Most former floriculture farms in the Umguza prime farming area have now 
been turned into vegetable producing plots.

A visit to a former floriculture producer, Rockie Farm, last week revealed 
that new farmers have stopped growing and exporting flowers to Europe due to 
low response from foreign buyers.

“When we were allocated this farm in 2006, we inherited flowers which were 
left by the former owner of the farm. The following year we tried to grow 
the crop with the assistance of local Agritex officials. But customers 
started to shun our crop claiming that the flowers were of poor quality,” 
said Lucas Dhlomo, a new farmer.

He accused the rightful owner of the farm, Steve Mandel, of influencing 
foreign buyers not to buy flowers from black farmers.

“We know that this snubbing of our crop is part of the sanctions which has 
been imposed on the country by the West. Mandel used to freight lots of 
flowers to Europe every week but because we are now black farmers they are 
no longer interested in our crop,” claimed Dhlomo.

Another new farmer, Jealous Mandebvu, admitted that the new farmers were 
facing challenges in growing the crop.

“I have tried to grow flowers on my plot but they developed some stains 
(sic) and the output was of low quality. The poor appearance of the flowers 
was not appealing to foreign buyers who are very particular about the crop,” 
said Mandebvu.


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