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June 13, 2010

Zimbabwe to produce it's smallest-ever wheat crop

by Brian Latham

Zimbabwe will produce 10,000 metric tons of wheat this year, the smallest crop on record, forcing the country to rely on imports to meet food requirements, an agricultural association said.

“Zimbabwe will have to import about 400,000 tons of wheat this year - the situation is desperately serious,” said Charles Taff, deputy president of the Commercial Farmers’ Union. Before 2000, farmers in Zimbabwe produced as much as 300,000 tons of the grain a year, he said.

In 2000, President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front launched a series of often violent farm invasions, displacing about 3,000 white farmers and as many as half a million agricultural workers. Farmers groups including the CFU and Harare-based Justice for Agriculture estimate there are about 500 white farmers still operating in the southern African nation.

“Farm invasions are continuing as we speak, with at least 16 farmers under threat to vacate right now,” Taff said. “Disruptions to farming and a lack of funding have slashed production.”

Business Week

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