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January 04, 2010

Zimbabwean farmers protest imports of GM produce

Zimbabwean farmers are withholding their farm produce in protest of an influx of cheap genetically modified products into the country.
Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) acting president Robert Marapira blasted
government for allowing GMOs in the country, saying they were putting
farmers out of business.

"Farmers have agreed to stop selling their products to government through
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) because of the GMOs. We have been thrown out of business, as farmers we also want to make profits out of our business but we
can not do anything because the government has allowed the GMOs," said Marapira.

Radio VOP

Marapira said Mashonaland East alone was withholding more than 600 000 tonnes of maize. "There are thousands of tonnes of farm produce in all provinces. Each province has an average of over 600 000 tonnes which did not go to GMB as farmers complain over poor prices for their products."

According to Zimbabwean laws, it is illegal to manufacture GMOs in the
country, however, the law does not ban the importation of such foods.

Marapira said one tonne of GMOs of maize goes for about USd 60, which is
ten times less than the money which is needed by farmers for the same
quantity.

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