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Foreign Policy| 11 April 2016

by Michael Hobbes

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CHISUMBANJE, Zimbabwe — Joyce Chachengwa woke up one morning to find her crops — her only source of food and income — ground into the dirt.

Chisumbanje is a small village in eastern Zimbabwe, right on the border with Mozambique. Chachengwa had been growing maize and cotton here her whole life. Every year, she took out loans for seeds and fertilizer, and then paid them back with her harvest. Since she lost her husband, she had relied on her two daughters and eight grandchildren to help tend her 75-acre plot. Some years, they produced as much as four tons of maize and 120 bales of cotton.

But on that morning, Chachengwa came out to her plot to find her entire season — months of work — plowed over, the earth scraped into lines, ready for someone else’s crops to be planted.

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