Zimbabwe plans to nearly double its wheat output to 75,000 tonnes this year… The southern African country requires 400,000 tonnes of wheat annually and has struggled to feed itself since President Robert Mugabe began a drive to seize white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks in 2000… Farmers’ unions put Zimbabwe’s wheat output at 12,000 tonnes last year, barely enough to feed the country for a week.
Of course, they tend to blame it on poor rains, but this is a cop-out. From VOANews:
Zimbabwe was once southern Africa’s breadbasket… For more than 10 consecutive years since President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on a land reform program targeting white farmers, Zimbabwe has had to import food to avert hunger as its new farmers cannot produce enough… Almost all white commercial farmers were replaced by inexperienced farmers, mainly supporters of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party. It is these farmers that Made wants helped in erecting irrigation systems to water their crops… The deposed white farmers had irrigation systems, but the new farmers mostly destroyed them when they took over the farms, often by force.
Not all parts of the economy are as bleak as that, however. From AllAfrica.com:
[Tobacco o]utput is expected to reach 150 million kilogrammes, up from 131 million last year. The target is to reach the 210 million kg achieved in 2000…
The agriculture sector contributes immensely to Zimbabwe’s overall growth. Although statistics had dropped significantly over the past decade, the past three years have seen the sector contribute more meaningfully to overall economic growth.
Agriculture grew by about 19 percent in 2011 and is expected to consolidate the growth this year.
There are rumours Mugabe is dying though, so that could help.