Resettled farmers sell implements

plough.jpegMUTARE Some villagers resettled on former white-owned farms in Zimunya district near Mutare city have turned to selling government-supplied farm implements to raise cash to buy food.

The resettled farmers, many of them war veterans and supporters of President Robert Mugabes Zanu (PF) party, have since moving to the farms nine years ago repeatedly failed to produce enough food to feed their families and let alone supply the country. A village headman in Zimunya, Nicholas Matika, said implements that new farmers were selling included hoes, disc harrows, wheelbarrows and ox drown ploughs.

My police details have told me that some small scale farmers who received the farming implements are selling them to various villagers. I have since reported them to my superiors (District Administrator) and appropriate action is going to be undertaken, he said. A source told The Zimbabwean On Sunday that the ploughs were being sold for $15, hoes ($5) and wheelbarrows (US$10). They are selling the implements for a song. The farmers have fallen on hard times, so they have been selling the implements as the only way to survive, said the source.

The Zanu (PF) government last year distributed farming implements free to resettled farmers who are mostly supporters of the party. However, the distribution of implements as well as seed and fertilizer to the farmers did not help much as harvest fell below national requirements and the country will have to import more food against this year.

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