Since the courageous land reform started by President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe has been able to increase its tobacco farmers from only 4,500 white farmers to 106,000 black farmers who are now producing 216m kgs, almost the same as what white farmers were producing at their peak in 2000 [234m kg].
This has been achieved in a period of less than 10 years and some say black people really got involved in tobacco farming only 6 years ago.
Let’s not forget that land is still being redistributed to black families.
It took white farmers +100 years to achieve these output numbers by 2000 with capital, stolen land, slave wages, no competition from blacks, open western support & markets and government subsidy.
Compare this with black farmers who have had no capital, no slave wages, no government subsidy; who have competition from unjustly enriched white farmers; and who, additionally have to face western trade sanctions, but they are still beating all odds.
With such black farmers performance, Zimbabwe has developed the world’s largest tobacco auction floors [Boka Auction Floors] and they are black owned.
Let us take stock of what this really means:
1. For the first time since colonization, Zimbabwean land is being cultivated sustainably by poor, average Zimbabweans who are able to benefit from their land, learn to farm, build wealth, be productive and support their families.
Imagine how many kids are being taken to school and university on these earnings? How many people does each of the 106,000 farmers support if we go with the SA figure that every worker on average supports 11 people?
2. By having the biggest tobacco auction floors in the world, this means that black Zimbabweans are learning and administering international tobacco trade and commerce. But the west told us that Africa was not good at this.
3. Black farmers are learning everyday to be better more productive farmers. We have been said Zimbabweans would starve if the White farmers would leave.
4. Arbitrage in other areas of agriculture, scarcity in other cash crops and too many players in tobacco will push other farmers to diversify and take their skills to other crops. Again this is a learning process that will eventually bring the sector and farming industry into equilibrium.
Let’s understand that what Zimbabwe is going through is learning, growth and improvement in practice. This is what built white farmers and it’s the reason they took the land to stop black people from growing and competing with them.
It is a very necessary extension of black/African economic growth and development. It started small but it’s growing and it’s growing into something major right in front of us.
Don’t listen to racist detractors who tell you what a failure Zimbabwe is, because as you can see, without all the privileges white farmers had, black Zimbabwean farmers have gone against the grain and achieved in a decade what took them [white farmers] a century of raping, pillaging, anti-competition and enslaving to achieve.
Imagine what will happen in 20 years, 30 years, 50 years and in a century’s time? Imagine what would happen if South African, Nigerian, Angolan or Libyan capital could flow seamlessly into Zimbabwe without exchange control restrictions.
Don’t ask me why Zimbabweans are leaving Zimbabwe and going into the diaspora because it’s obvious to any level minded person that we have a revolution underway in Zimbabwe…. Zimbabwe is in the deconstruct [of an evil system], build and growth phase of the revolution, and this will require some to sacrifice and work outside [in the diaspora] to support the revolution at home that is not just for Zimbabweans but for Africans as a whole. The Irish once had to leave home to other parts of the world to support Ireland’s renaissance and rebuilding and that has taken more than 50 years and still going.
We will do it in less. We can do it and we are doing it. This is why the west and white world can’t allow natives to see these successes because then if Zimbabwe can do it then any other aboriginal/native/colonized country, including South Africa, can take land, put it in black hands and make it work.
To expect overnight successes in agricultural output that match 100 years outputs in a few years is ludicrous; it’d also be a total failure to understand human development, experience curve dynamics, revolution, and investment cycles.
Every revolution requires time, sacrifice, suffering and toil to produce true success and freedom. It took Afrikaner and Rhodesian farmers +100 years of stealing, rebuilding, learning, government investment & support and experimenting to become productive as we know that today.
Among these 106,000 Zimbabwean black farmers I mentioned, there are friends and families I know…. so for me this is not theory but it’s real and tangible.
So stop listening to racist propaganda, and let’s knuckle down as Africans together and own our economy and grow.
Imagine if we break down these borders and capital could flow easily between our economies?
“He who has his mouth in the kitchen of the enemy can not be liberated” – Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah