Friday, 23 September 2016

USE THE PLOTS OR YOU ARE OUT, ARDA THREATENS FARMERS

MORE than 250 farmers at the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) Estate at Mkwasine in Chiredzi risk losing their plots for allegedly failing to utilise the acquired land, an official has said.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development responsible for cropping, Cde Davis Marapira, said plot holders who are under-utilising land at the estate should pave way for those who are willing to use it productively.

He said the Government has embraced contract farming through private public partnerships (PPPs) where private companies work with the government in making sure that there is production at all Arda farms.

“As a Ministry, we are calling for meaningful production at all Arda farms. The plot holders who are under-utilising land at Arda Mkwasine should pave way for serious farmers. We cannot be held to ransom by people who asked for land to farm but for reasons best known to them are not doing anything,” said Cde Marapira.

He said Government through Arda was committed to improving food security nationally and will ensure that land allocated to people is effectively used.
“We have done a tour at Arda Mkwasine where we realised that the land there is under-utilised. The plot holders are not doing enough as far as production is concerned.

“We have since introduced contract farming where the plot holders will be provided with inputs by private partners under the public private partnership,” Cde Marapira said.

The Deputy Minister also said Government is concerned about 600 illegal settlers at Arda Magudu in Chiredzi and called for their eviction, noting they were disturbing operations there.
“There are about 600 illegal settlers at Magudu farm under Arda in Chiredzi. They are occupying about 6 000 hectares which belongs to Arda and those people should be moved away to pave way for the authority’s operations,” he added. chronicle

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