Zimbabwe asks white farmers to return
Zimbabwe's white farmers have been invited to apply for land in what is regarded as an apparent U-turn by the government that seized their farms. Commercial Farmers' Union vice-president Trevor Gifford is quoted as saying about 200 applications have already been made. BBC News reports that all but 300 of the four-thousand white farmers have been forced off their land since President Robert Mugabe started his land reform programme in 2000. Much of the formerly white-owned land is no longer being productively used, as many beneficiaries have no farming experience and some lack finance and tools. Many farms were also wrecked when they were invaded by government supporters.