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Originally published Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 6:33 AM

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Farmers: Zimbabwe food production declines further

An organization of mostly displaced white farmers in Zimbabwe says upcoming harvests of the corn staple are forecast to decline by tens of thousands of tons and the nation will again have to rely on food imports and donor handouts.

The Associated Press

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HARARE, Zimbabwe —

An organization of mostly displaced white farmers in Zimbabwe says upcoming harvests of the corn staple are forecast to decline by tens of thousands of tons and the nation will again have to rely on food imports and donor handouts.

The Commercial Farmers Union on Thursday said production in the former regional breadbasket remains in turmoil. It said blacks resettled on formerly white-owned farms seized since 2000 are "in dire straits" because they don't have necessary finance.

Union head Charles Taffs said collapsing rural infrastructure may be helped by a new, financial recovery plan by ex-farmers who don't expect to regain their seized farms.

Latest annual corn production is estimated at 833,000 tons, down by 60,000 tons from last year, compared to more than 2 million tons harvested in 2000.

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