Sep 30, 2008

Zimbabwean Farmers Find a New Life in Nigeria

Forced out of Zimbabwe by President Robert Mugabe's infamous land-reform program, a small group of farmers are taking advantage of a second chance in Nigeria.

The governor of Kwara State, wooed the commercial farmers despite some local opposition. He hopes to harness the expertise of the farmers from Zimbabwe to jump-start Nigeria's commercial agricultural sector. Nigeria spends billions annually on food imports.

Farmer Dan Swart says teaching people "the finer points of farming and finance" could "make Nigeria the breadbasket of West Africa."

He coordinated the move to Kwara state and he's recruiting an additional 40 farmers to join the initial band of 13.

As he prepared to fly to Zimbabwe to recruit more farmers, Alan Jack said he looked forward to coming back to Nigeria, his new home.

"We're very happy here," he says. "We're back doing what we do best, which is farm... Africa needs more success stories."

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