Thursday, 12 March 2020

DOWNSIZING OF FARMS BEGIN


A verification exercise to identify the number of farms earmarked for downsizing following the completion of the land audit has started in Mashonaland East.

The land audit is aimed at identifying land utilisation patterns and optimal farming activities, which will influence appropriate policies for increased agricultural productivity, poverty alleviation and sustainable utilisation of the land.

Youths and women will get the excess land identified in the land audit to empower them so that they participate in the mainstream economy.

Mashonaland East became the first province to work on modalities to embark on the land redistribution exercise soon after the land audit. 

Over 37 000 prospective farmers are on the waiting list in Mashonaland East Province.

Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs Minister Aplonia Munzverengwi said they identified farms for downsizing in Macheke, Hwedza, Beatrice and Goromonzi.

In Goromonzi, 10 farms have been identified, and they are at verification stage. After completing the exercise in Goromonzi, the provincial lands committee will visit Beatrice. 

Minister Munzverengwi said the provincial lands committee was verifying the size of farm and production levels.

The farms will be pegged without compromising operations. “The motive is to identify underutilised farms and allocate it to landless people, especially the youths, who did not benefit from the first phase of the land reform programme,” she said.

Fuel shortages have caused delays in the programme. Farm owners have been asked to cooperate with the Government’s directive as the exercise is not a witch-hunt, but an attempt to ensure everyone has access to land. Herald

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