People Responsible For The Failure Of Zimbabwe's Agriculture Sector
Zimbabwe embarked on a land redistribution programme on the aftermath of independence in 1980. The programme was premised at improving production for improved exports and mitigating hunger.
The most popular phase in the land redistribution programme was the fast-track land ‘grab’ which was reportedly triggered by Chief Svosve who together with his people invaded farms belonging to white farmers. The government was compelled to endorse the move in fear of losing support from the electorate.
So far, returns from the programme are insignificant as the country is failing to produce enough to sustain the local industry and to feed the nation. The scarcity of wheat, soya beans, and even maize bears testimony to this.
News Day observes that people who were incentivised and failed to live up to the task are to blame for the demise of the Agriculture sector. The publication gives an example of former Police Deputy Commissioner-General, Innocent Matibiri, who was recently dragged to court for failing to pay back a US$189 000 debt.
He got the money from Tian Ze Tobacco for the purposes of growing tobacco for them during the 2014-15 agricultural season. If he had returned the money, other farmers could have benefited.
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News Day further notes that lack of dedication to farming might have led to the former ZRP boss’s failure in the farming sector. Part of the publication’s article reads:
… In our view, the two can only be possible if one is able to work 24/7, which is impossible… In the end, we are sure it affected both his chosen trades…
But he is not the only one. In 2008 the RBZ embarked on a farm mechanisation programme. Farmers were given machinery but some sold the machines and never paid back the loan facility. That debt was assumed by the central bank, that means that the tax payer’s money is to settle the debt.