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Zimbabwe unveils $142 mln in farm aid

Zimbabwe will provide 142 million dollars in aid to small-scale farmers as the country struggles to revive its shattered agricultural sector, Finance Minister Tendai Biti Tendai Biti (born 6 August 1966) is the Secretary-General of the mainstream Movement for Democratic Change political party in Zimbabwe and a member of Parliament.

Biti was born in Harare on the 6 of August 1966 and attended the University of Zimbabwe law school.
 said on Friday.

Biti also told a foreign investors conference that the government would allow farmers to sell their harvests freely rather than to state monopolies.

"We are going to provide 142 million dollars to our small scale farmers, for the provision of this year's summer crop," he said, without explaining how the money would be spent.

"We are going to resuscitate re·sus·ci·tate
To restore consciousness, vigor, or life to.
 the commodities exchange where you can sell your maize or tobacco freely," Biti told the 400 delegates at the three-day conference.

Zimbabwe expects to harvest 1.5 million tonnes of its staple grain maize this year, but will still need to import 600,000 tonnes to meet its food needs.

Agriculture was once the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy, but production collapsed following President Robert Mugabe's land reforms that saw white-owned farms forcibly resettled Adj. 1. resettled - settled in a new location

settled - established in a desired position or place; not moving about; "nomads...absorbed among the settled people"; "settled areas"; "I don't feel entirely settled here"; "the advent of settled
 by blacks in a chaotic scheme marred by politically charged violence.

Consecutive years of drought have only worsened the situation.

Biti also insisted government will not revive the local Zimbabwe dollar which was abandoned earlier this year -- despite remarks to the contrary by Mugabe last month.

For most of the year Zimbabwe has used US dollars, South African rand “ZAR” redirects here. For the former republic, see South African Republic.

The rand is the currency of South Africa. It takes its name from the Witwatersrand (White-waters-ridge
 and other hard currencies for all of its dealings, after the local currency was left worthless by a decade of world-record hyperinflation Hyperinflation

Extremely rapid or out of control inflation.

There is no precise numerical definition to hyperinflation. This is a situation where price increases are so out of control that the concept of inflation is meaningless.

"Its a very simple issue. The Zimbabwe dollar is dead and it is moribund moribund /mor·i·bund/ (mor´i-bund) in a dying state.

At the point of death; dying.

. It is not our intention to re-issue the Zimbabwe dollar unless we can achieve at least four percent growth rate per annum Per annum

," Biti said.

"Unless there is confidence, legitimacy and trust, we are not going to revive the Zimbabwe dollar. We are trying to establish trust and confidence, restore credibility and consistency. There is no reverse of policies," Biti said.
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Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Jul 10, 2009
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