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Farmers in Zimbabwe happier than city residents

SETH ONYANGO

SOMETIMES it takes just a farm – and good rains – to be happy, as the World Bank reveals Zimbabweans in rural areas are happier than their city counterparts.

Zimbabweans living in rural areas have a better life than those in urban centres, a World Bank report reveals, reigniting debate on whether it is better to live in the city or in the countryside.

The multilateral lender cited thriving subsistence farming in Zimbabwe’s remote areas, stating it has propped up the fortunes of those living far from cities.

The report’s chief finding offers striking insight into the “rural-urban happiness gradient” in Africa, with population density and the high cost of living in cities and major towns seen as problematic.

Interviewed, people in the countryside projected more happiness and satisfaction with their lives, in part thanks to a good farming season.

“This year is much better for us here. We had good rains. We have enough water to irrigate our crops until the next rain season,” said Tafadzwa Gamanya, a farmer told VoA.

“I have maize and sweet potatoes; my peas are at flowering stage. I sell my vegetables to get money for sugar, for tea which we have with sweet potatoes. Our maize is enough for this year. We have nothing more to ask or cry for.”

During the planting season 2020/21 President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government said the number of food-insecure Zimbabweans fell drastically because of the good rains.

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Although the narrow spectrum of responses from Zimbabweans does not represent the entire continuum of rural African happiness, it shows that people don’t need skyscrapers to be happy.

Meanwhile, the World Bank projects Zimbabwe’s economy to grow 3.9 per cent this year.

The southern African state’s economy is expected to grow faster than its neighbours, rising from 3.9 per cent in 2021 to 5.1 per cent in 2022. The projected average growth rate for Africa in 2021 is 2.8 per cent.

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By The African Mirror

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