When the famous land reform program went live in 2000 almost 4500 farmers were evicted out of their farms. 20 years later the government is getting ready to compensate them and already 500 to 600 of them are dead according to Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) director Ben Gilpin.
Speaking to New Zim Ben said most of the farmers who are alive’s age doesn’t allow them to go back into farming as well.
At the time of the land takeovers, the average age of commercial farmers was about 55. You did not just wake up and own a farm, you had to work quite a long time in order to get to the point of ownership. It generally took a long time.
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“Quite a lot of people who lost property are now well into their 70s and this is where we talk of distressed farmers, many of those people are even older over. We have recorded amongst our members around 500 to 600 deaths.
More: New Zimbabwe