CFU pledges to work with Govt

CFU pledges to work with Govt

Source: CFU pledges to work with Govt | The Herald 26 FEBRUARY 2018

CFU pledges to work with Govt

Tech-savvy, business-oriented youths can contribute to agriculture in new ways, across value chains

Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
The Commercial Farmers’ Union has pledged to work with Government in boosting agricultural productivity to ensure that industry contributes to national economic growth and development. Speaking at the National Land Tenure and Policy Dialogue workshop in Harare on Friday, CFU director Mr Ben Gilpin admitted that the institution, which was over 100 years old, was built on policies of racial inequality prior to Independence.

“The lingering result of those inequalities contributed to the rationale for the radical land reform we have gone through in recent years. The marginalisation of indigenous communities and the preferential access to the land in more favourable agro-ecological zones for whites, left a festering wound long after Independence.

“At the same time, we observe that the consequences of the fast track land reform have been painful for our constituency and for our former farm employees and it has had a significant effect on the country in economic and social terms,” he said.
Mr Gilpin said the CFU was not against the land reform, but there was need for Government to assist current farmers to maximise production.

“As a union we are committed to the comprehensive recovery of Zimbabwe and will do our best to facilitate this.
“This does not, however, mean that we will or indeed feel the necessity to blindly endorse policy or practice in the agriculture sector where we see a better way,” he said

He said agriculture was an important sector that had an influence on industries.
“Organised agriculture is key to that. I believe as farmer representatives, our principal responsibility is to deliver a solid and coherent voice for our constituency. A voice of strength and unity that can clearly articulate the needs of farmers if they are to succeed in being the drivers of national economic growth and development.

“We are working on this and the recent formation of the Federation of Farmers’ Unions is testament to this, but we need to go much further. Looking back at our union’s (CFU) days of strength, we are reminded that it was built on the economic and financial stability of the large-scale farming sector.

“As commercial farmers we were empowered by a full bundle of rights, which included; secure access, transferability, a land market and bankability and enforceability and accountability.

“We were accountable to ourselves as businesses and also to those that were committed to providing the finances we needed.
“We took responsibility for the risk, while banks extended finance and lines of credit for viable programmes, failure to perform and repay debts meant that banks were assured of recouping their money and there were always farms for sale,” he said.
New farmers have few rights other than access and for that reason, most are insecure and underfunded.

A few are reliant on urban collateral, but most depend on the Government to provide inputs and support on a perennial basis. Many are finding themselves with significant debt. This is not nationally sustainable.

In certain instances, such as the tobacco sector, contractors have stepped in and provide upfront finance and inputs as well as the end-market for the crop.

While growth and recovery in the sector have been impressive, the farmer or man-in-the-middle, is at the mercy of the financier.

The former model, that financed commercial farmers, is not open to them because banks are wary.
Government has come up with 99-year leases, which are now bankable. This is expected to boost confidence and also help them access funding from financial institutions.


  • comment-avatar
    Former farmer 4 years ago

    Alas the CFU is only interested in those remaining on their farms and long forgotten about the likes of myself who lost everything. You should be fighting for the injustices and not criticise those that are. That is why l stopped paying subs even when l had no income.

  • comment-avatar
    Ndebele 4 years ago

    It can hardly come as a surprise. The CFU worked with the Zanu Government all the way through the FTLRP which saw the wholesale demise of the country. Benjamin Freeth MBE was dismissed for reading a prayer at the CFU Congress. The CFU carried on licking Zanu and Mugabe’s backsides when their CFU members were being murdered – Martin Olds, David Stevens, Charlie Anderson, Terry Ford, Alan Dunne just to name a few. There were undress of farm workers murdered by Zanu as well. Now having been part and parcel of the Zanu programme they announce that they are working with Zanu – outside of the Law again. The name needs to be changed to the Zanu Farmers Union or the Scoones Mujiba Farmers Union – not the CFU. The CFU was a principled organisation before they aligned themselves to Zanu. Perhaps, one day the CFU will be held account for supporting Zanu even when they were murdering Matableles. The list for The Hague can be Mugabe, ED, Shiri and the principals of the CFU “for aiding abetting genocide?” For once the CFU has been honest – “we are Zanu.”

  • comment-avatar
    Kutama 4 years ago

    Nearly forty years ago Mervyn King resigned as a Judge in RSA allegedly because he would not put up with the Apartheid Nationalist Crocodile P.W.Botha. In the last forty years King has created a world rated Integrated Reporting code adopted globally as best practice for corporate citizenship and human rights. Last week King was awarded an Honorary PhD by the Deakin law School for his outstanding global contribution, and gave the annual lecture to 500 people on his philosophy of business ethics. We all know PW’s legacy and our dear friend Jacob’s legacy was probably looking for a Retirement Prostitute (complete with an aids shower) in Mtata last week? When the likes of Mervyn King – such as Benjamin Freeth, Morgan Tsvangirayi, Joshua Nkomo, Dumiso Dabengwa or Roy Bennett stood up for principles of good governance and the rule of law – they were beaten, tortured and imprisoned by Mugabe, ED, Shiri and the likes – and scorned by the CFU. The CFU has the audacity to still ignore the brutal legacy of the 20 000 civilians murdered in the name of Zanu Democracy. It may well be time to look at prosecuting the CFU for ignoring its members and fawning over Mugabe and his excesses in their attempts to score the title Top Zanu Mujiba? Indeed, the CFU has failed the people of Zimbabwe by acting in concert with Zanu and not once stood up to Zanu’s murder, mayhem and wholesale looting and destruction of the country. It is now so blatant. They want to feed the New Crocodile – they do not have a Mervyn King in their ranks.

  • comment-avatar
    J. VORSTER 4 years ago

    Ex farmer
    The CFU cannot stop sucking up to Zanu Pf
    It’s 18 years and they have achieved nothing.
    4300 robbed and the CFU can’t see the injustice
    The CFU should be looking for justice and not an excuse for these thieving thugs