The Zimbabwean government has deployed soldiers to seize grain harvests from farmers. The "massive grain collection exercise" is to ensure food security, as the country falls 1.8 million tonnes short of its annual cereal requirement, says a recent statement of the state-controlled Grain Marketing Board -- the sole agency authorised to sell and buy maize.
The troop deployment follows Operation Maguta, which involved soldiers supervising agricultural production on farms and, in some cases, forcing farmers to produce maize ahead of other crops. The decision to use troops has come after many farmers began selling their harvest to middlemen offering higher prices. Selling grain to anyone other than the grain board is illegal in Zimbabwe.
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