COMMERCIAL Farmers Union (CFU) new president Doug Taylor-Freeme has accused the government of worsening the country’s problems by refusing to bring stab
ility in the agricultural sector.
Agriculture, the mainstay of the Zimbabwean economy, has experienced an over 70% decline in the past three years, throwing the whole economy into a tailspin.
“Stability in the agricultural sector can only be created by addressing fundamental issues such as the rule of law and winning back investor confidence,” Taylor-Freeme said in an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this week.
“Everybody, including the government, is avoiding these fundamental issues. Unless serious action is taken, there will be a total collapse of the economy.”
Taylor-Freeme said he was concerned with the lack of urgency by government to restore stability in the farming setor.
“Crop forecasts for next season are already indicating another decline from this year’s figures which were declared the worst ever. There is no doubt that Zimbabwe will be forced to rely on donor goodwill for a couple of years,” he said.
“My message to farmers and all stakeholders involved in the land question is to take conflict out of the situation and everything will move forward,” he said.
Taylor-Freeme said CFU members were keen to get back into farming and use the vital infrastructure that is sitting idle.
“We have a massive food import programme. There is agricultural infrastructure sitting idle such as irrigation schemes, tobacco facilities and greenhouses.
“Small-scale farmers who legitimately bought their farms have joined the CFU and we are helping them with the necessary skills.
“The small-scale farmers are currently the major producers of cotton and other cereals in the country,” said Taylor-Freeme.