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Zimbabwe: Middlemen thwart Chimanimani fruit farmers

Zimbabwe’s Rusitu valley, which is part of the eastern highlands, a haven for a variety of fruits, including bananas and other tropical fruits such as pine apples and naartjies. However, sources claim that fruit growers in the Rusitu valley in Chimanimani are being exploited by unsavory middlemen who are offering low prices for their produce, only to resale them at much higher prices in towns and cities around the country.

In a recent series of interviews, the fruit growers said banana trades from as far as Harare, Bulawayo and Beitbridge are taking advantage of the farmers desperation for cash. The traders are also taking advantage of the area‘s insufficient road network which makes it impossible for the farmers to transport their produce to the cities where they would sale them at much better prices.

“We are being exploited by dealers who are offering to pay as low as US$2 for a bunch of bananas. Some of us are not able to transport the produce to the market because of bad roads and lack of our own transport. Some dealers are now taking advantage of this challenge by bringing their own transport and exploit us,” Gladman Mukondomi, a banana grower in the area, said.


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