Farming in Zimbabwe

Dear Nicola

Thank you so much for your email. I really appreciate your comments. The opinions Michael van Straten expressed in his interview are his own personal opinions. He expressed to me the opinion that the information we generally get in the UK about Zimbabwe is not the whole picture. I'm sure you will agree with him to this extent.

Michael points out in the interview that most of the farms in Zimbabwe are owned by a very small percentage of the population of the country. And that most of these farms do not grow food crops, but in fact grow tobacco crops. This is just factual information, but information that most UK readers are not aware of. He then goes on to express his own opinions about how many farmers conduct their business.

I am relieved and delighted to hear your stories about responsible employers, and am saddened to hear about the unemployment their past employees now suffer. Michael has not referred to a Zimbabwean National Health Service at any point in the interview, and I am sure that he is well aware of the devastating effects of HIV on the Zimbabwean population. His opinions only refer to the effects of non-organic agricultural farming practices on the health of farm workers.

I have no doubt that both HIV and poverty have far more devastating effects on the health of the people in this country, both at the time of the interview and at this current time. As an online magazine, all we can possibly do to alleviate this dire situation is to maintain dialogue and freedom of information. As such, I thank you once again for taking the time to respond to Michael van Straten's interview statements.

Your sincerely


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