Monday, June 11, 2007

Zim harvest poor?

June 4, 2007: Zimbabwe's government has admitted that so far this year only ten percent of the "normal wheat crop" has been planted. The reasons given include lack of fertilizer, lack of tractors, lack of fuel and electrical energy shortages. The government began a program about six weeks ago to ration electricity so that farmers would have reliable electricity during the planting season. Zimbabwe is already suffering corn shortages. With no alternatives, more people are fleeing the country. For an increasing number of people, the choice is between starvation and getting out. The number of refugees crossing the border has increased from 4,000 a month in 2004, to nearly 20,000 a month now. .... South Africa believes it has lost 3 percent of its annual GDP because of the cost of taking care of the refugees. Most other African leaders are reluctant to criticize what is going on in Zimbabwe, because the same corruption, incompetence and blame shifting ("the colonial powers") is present, to some degree, in most African countries.

June 2, 2007: Numerous engineers and construction workers are leaving Zimbabwe. The economic crisis has left them without work. Many are off to South Africa, which will host the World Cup football (soccer) finals in 2010 and needs skilled construction workers to help build infrastructure.

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