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Diaspora Matters

The Sack Potato Fraud

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So I have been looking at a number of dubious money making schemes that have been brought to our shores over the last 20 years. The first one should be the Jatropha Project where various communities across the country were given free Jatropha Plants with the promise of the wonder tree bringing huge financial benefits to them. Communities were promised heaven on earth with the project expected to produce Jatropha soaps, fuels and a host of other by products which could be sold for a profit.

More than 10 years later no one is talking about this project that once took Zim by storm. Where we taken for a ride? Iam not able to authoritatively answer this one as more research is needed on the subject.

Anyway the purpose of this article is not to review the Jatropha Project; the purpose here is to review some of the dubious business schemes that have landed on our soil from foreign land. The Jatropha is the first one, the second and biggest of them all is the Sack Potato Production that took place in 2013.

So what transpired in the project? Gentle reader, a certain sister returned home from UK and started planting potatoes at the back of her home. She brought new ways of potato production-growing them in sacks as commonly done in UK. Her project ‘became a success’ – a huge success such that it went viral. Everyone started talking about the success of this project, she became a celebrity overnight. Newspapers gave her interviews, radios and television stations followed suit.

The biggest money making project in the country became Sack Potato Farming! Most farmers started inquiring about this project and a number of them purchased sacks and began producing potatoes in this unconventional way. A number of agricultural consultancies cropped up to support sack potato production, some Agriculture Scientists even endorsed the new project as the best way to farm potatoes.

So far I have been talking about others how about my own experience? Dear reader, I too encouraged some of my relatives to take advantage of this unorthodox way of farming potatoes. I had seen on tv a successful project, I had read in the press about a tried and tested method of growing potatoes.

So what happened to this thriving project?  Many people who had invested in the sack potatoes did not reap any meaningful rewards. A lot of farmers reported losses, heavy losses from this project and it did not take long for most farmers to realise that they had been taken for a ride. This was a dubious scheme-we are all taken for a ride!

The potato seeds did not grow as advertised, poor yields were encountered…takabatwa kumeso masikati machena! Ngei pakashaikwa kana mumwe  zvake akavhunza kuti ivhu nemawandiro arakaita aya munyika, imwi hino mugosiya mondoisa mavhu musaki lol

After the collapse of the sack potato project another one with a similar ending landed on Zim soil and it’s the famous Quail, Chihuta Craze! Lets tackle this one next week and establish what happened.

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