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Uncertainty grips CFU

Augustine Mukaro

UNCERTAINTY continues to grip the agricultural sector as government lists more commercial farms for compulsory acquisition.

ns-serif”>Speaking at the 61st Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) annual congress this week, CFU president Doug Taylor-Freeme said continued listings had created a climate of uncertainty about whether the few remaining white farmers should plant crops they may not be able to harvest because of Section 8 orders.

“There are continued listings for acquisition every week, be they Section 5s, 8s or 7s,” Taylor-Freeme said. “These listings have a huge negative influence on the agricultural industry. In certain districts of certain provinces, there are those that say that ethnic cleansing of white commercial farmers is taking place,” he said.

He said every farmer was in danger of receiving a Section 8 acquisition order anytime. “It is said that certain officials are offered bonuses for every white farmer evicted off their farm,” the CFU chief said.

“This renders any attempt at continued production unwise, even for those who still have access to land. An example of this was in April when there were signals of encouragement to maximise planting of winter cereals. Many farmers made a commitment to plant. Unfortunately, as I speak, these farmers, despite the crop being in the ground, are being harassed and bullied to vacate their farms by various opportunists and authorities such as what is happening in Karoi. This does not bode well for the summer plantings,” Taylor-Freeme said.

He said despite farmers showing goodwill by offering land or sub-dividing to keep their core business operating, “there are still thugs who don’t understand the business of agriculture and are shutting them down, resulting in large numbers of businesses lying idle, no longer contributing to the fragile economy”, he said.

He said the new amendments to the Land Acquisition Act had removed all farming security, security of investment and much of the personal security that remained to the few farmers who had been allowed to carry on.

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