chinese win tender in zimbabwe

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    Chinese Win Big Tender to Grow Food for Zimbabwe





    Business Day (Johannesburg)

    February 11, 2003
    Posted to the web February 11, 2003

    Dumisani Muleya
    Johannesburg

    AS ZIMBABWE's food crisis worsens, the government has awarded a Chinese company, China International Water & Electric Corporation, a tender to develop 100000ha of underutilised land.

    The company was given the goahead by the government tender board last week to develop the Nuanetsi irrigation project, which is expected to restore Zimbabwe's food self-sufficiency. The project will focus on maize and sorghum.

    The move came as government is trying to lure back the commercial farmers whom it displaced from the land during farm invasions that started two years ago.

    Government claims it has drafted a memorandum of understanding, which awaits signing, but farmers say nothing has materialised from the talks that began a few weeks ago.

    As part of the deal, government wants to give back to white farmers some of the properties it seized in exchange for equipment to help resettle subsistence farmers. Farmers have rejected the offer, saying the government is not sincere.

    Zimbabwe is experiencing a widespread food shortage caused by a combination of drought and the effects of chaotic land reforms.

    According to the official Sunday Mail, it is estimated that the Nuanetsi project can yield a minimum of 700000 tons of maize, three times a year. This means that it can produce about 2,1-million tons of maize a year.

    The Nuanetsi Irrigation project was evidently an initiative of the staterun agricultural and rural development authority.

    Under the project, the Chinese company will be responsible for the entire development. This includes clearing all trees and woodland within the perimeter, ripping, levelling and ploughing. The Chinese firm will also build roads and other essential infrastructure in the area.

    The government is also said to be considering plans to expand irrigation schemes in the country to be able to withstand drought in future.

    It plans to establish at least one irrigation scheme in each of the country's 59 districts.








 
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