HARARE – Zimbabwe’s once promising coffee industry has been vandalised due to the land grab policy, with only three commercial coffee farmers remaining on 300 hectares, down from 145 who were farming over 7 600 hectares before 2004.
According to the Farmers Voice magazine published by Econometer Global Capital, the coffee industry that was growing steadily until the advent of a drive to resettle landless but inexperienced black farmers on white-owned commercial farms, has virtually collapsed.
“The country produced less than 500 tonnes of coffee in 2017 compared to peak production of 14 664 tonnes in 1989,” Zimbabwe Coffee Mill director Johane Jori, adding the industry had projected expanding production to 20,000 tons by 2004.
The government in its 2018 National Budget is projecting a measly 1 000 tonnes.
Jori said “some of the challenges bedevilling the sector include lack of coffee agronomy knowledge in the resettled farmers; no more commercial production of coffee in the sector; no government intervention in the sector to assist with inputs; no investment coming into the sector; and climate change as these areas are now experiencing prolonged dry spells.”