Executive Director of the Mike Campbell Foundation and Former Regional Executive Officer of the Commercial Farmers’ Union in Zimbabwe, Ben Greeth has criticised the country’s agricultural partnership with Belarus.
The Zimbabwean government signed a $58 million deal with the East European country under which Zimbabwe will receive agricultural equipment and the training 1 000 local farmers.
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Greeth asserted that Zimbabwe has thousands of able farmers already and what it needs is the respect for property rights and the rule of law. Said Greeth:
Belarus is not known for its agricultural productivity. Their climate, crops, pests and diseases and systems of production are different from ours. It’s difficult to believe how effective they will be in teaching us to farm.
Belarus tractors have never been known for their quality or power. They were never bought by Zimbabwe farmers in the past. Training up 1000 Zimbabwe isn’t the power or neither to buy all this equipment from Belarus.
There are thousands of brilliant farmers already. What we need is property rights and the rule of law.
Sadly, the Belarus scheme will fail the same as every other scheme has failed because of property rights and the rule of law is so insecure and tenuous.