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    Saturday, 26 August 2017

    Farmers destroy Tongaat cane after being refused buyer’s number


    MORRIS BISHI
    CHIREDZI BUREAU

    CHIREDZI – In what could be a typical case of sabotage, farmers who were recently ordered by President Mugabe out of Hippo Valley and Triangle estates after their occupation was found to be illegal because of bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa are said to be destroying sugarcane that is at the stage of harvest.
    There are fears that the whole cane grown on 4 000 hectares of land and with a value of millions of United States dollars can go to worst if Government doesn't intervene as a matter of urgency. Tongaat grows cane on a total area of 29 000 hectares.
    The 222 farmers recently met and resolved to destroy the cane after Government ordered that the farmers allow Tongaat to harvest the cane and they only get compensation for investments they may have made on the plots and the crop.
    Tongaat refused to give the farmers growers' numbers that would enable them to sell sugarcane to the milling company.
    Speaking at a recent rally in Masvingo, President Mugabe odered that the farmers move out of Tongaat fields and be given fresh land to grow their own crop.
    Reports reaching The Mirror indicate that about eight farmers (names supplied) including a well known vocal war veteran have since cut the crop to the ground.
    Efforts to get a comment from Tongaat were fruitless.
    A key figure among the farmers Ailes Baloyi who is also a member of Zanu PF Masvingo provincial executive said the move to venture into other crops was reached at a meeting held by the farmers two weeks ago. He said it is now the prerogative of each farmer to implement the resolution at his or her own will since they are empowered by offer letters which are in their possession. 
    "I am yet to receive reports of people who are cutting down the sugarcane plant but that is possible since we met two weeks ago and made a resolution that if efforts to sell our sugarcane to Tongaat Hullet fails, we will destroy the crop and venture into other crops. It now depends with the farmer on when should they decide to implement what we agreed. We applied for irrigated land and that's what we have and we don't mind about losses," said Baloyi. 
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