sions made by a beleaguered regime, who was there to ensure that those farmers growing seed for the nation were spared? These farms were also invaded with the same reckless abandon that has become the hallmark of Zanu (PF).
The end result was that the country lost the expertise required to grow seed from embryo to foundation to commercial. This accounts for the annual shortage of seed in the country. While it might appear as if there is enough maize seed since it is available in shelves, the cost is so high that many farmers only buy what they require to grow their own food!
It will take many years before we again produce enough seeds for this country.
As an example, John Berry was a potato seed producer in Kwe Kwe and he supplied seed potatoes in the whole midlands. He was evicted; now farmers have nowhere to buy seed potatoes. As a matter of fact, the bulk of his customers were black farmers.
We hear that government wants to reopen CSC facilities in Marondera that were EU approved but closed because of shortage of slaughter stock. It is instructive to mention that world class facilities were in Masvingo, Marondera, Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Gweru and of course, Harare and Bulawayo. The CSC has virtually closed all these except Bulawayo and Harare where they hardly have economic cattle throughput.
Minister Didymus Mutasa is alleged to have said that government will take over all farms from the paltry remaining white farmers. He is quoted as having said ‘only those lucky ones will remain’. Some of these remaining white farmers are beef producers. We know that during the land invasion, once a farmer had to go, he had no option but to sell his herd. Millions of cattle were sent to slaughter, including pregnant cows.
The new law now makes it illegal to remain in a listed farm. All farms were listed in May 2005. In terms of the constitution, all farms ever listed are now state land.
It is a fact that almost all the new farmers have no cattle. They need cattle. There is so much grazing land all over the country. Many new farmers have been given loans or facilities to buy heifers but have failed to do so because of shortages.
Does it not make sense that the few remaining farmers are allowed to keep their farms and produce beef cattle, which will be available to new farmers so that we can begin to re-build the national herd?
Those white farmers, most of whom must go by the end of this month have only one course of action; send all their cattle, including those pregnant, to the slaughter market.
Is there anything else functioning that this government has no will, desire and capacity to destroy? What is there that is still working and will be spared?
Zimbabwe is like a bed-ridden patient who is so ill she cannot turn herself. The result is bedsores that need to be cleaned and treated. But to clean the bedsores, the patient need to turned. We in MDC want to turn and treat the patient but Zanu (PF) refuses. The patient will not heal. It is that simple
As we face another election next year, let the suffering patients of this country be turned for a better life. – Renson Gasela, Secretary for Lands & Agriculture, MDC (Tsvangirai)
When the chaotic land reform programme started in 2000, government made what appeared to be a very sensible decision amongst its bundling. That decision was that all seed growing farms would be classified as agrobusinesses and would therefore not be invaded and taken over.
However, like many deci
However, like many deci