Lifeline for white Zimbabwean farmers

Lifeline for white Zimbabwean farmers
Published: 24 May 2018
WHITE commercial farmers who did not vacate their farms during the fast-track land reform should regularise their stay on those farms to enable them to access 99-year leases.

Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Land Commission Ms Tendai Bare said this during a media briefing in Mutare last week.

She said the Government of President Mnangagwa had not shut the door on such farmers, but wanted them to come forward and regularise their stay.

"We are working with those farmers to see if they have the documents required for them to stay on the farms before we can recommend them for 99-year leases.

"Similarly, the Ministry of Lands is running a programme in which interested white farmers can do joint ventures with black beneficiaries of the agrarian reforms," she said.

She, however, noted that land boundary disputes were stifling progress in the sector and needed to be resolved urgently.

"My office has so far resolved 308 boundary disputes, eight more than the initial target of 300 that we had set for the first quarter of the year. A further 600 such cases are also awaiting determination," she said.

Ms Bare revealed that the commission was also seized with resolving another 1 500 disputes of varying natures, but involving land ownership.

New cases of boundary disputes continue to be lodged with the commission daily, she noted.

"Sometimes we resolve between three and four cases per day, but this all depends on the availability of the original map of the land under dispute and the farmers involved producing their offer letters or 99-year leases. Information on the original plan should also reflect on the offer letter," she added.

The commission, which is currently operating in eight provinces, is also inspecting farms to ensure that farmers have sustainable business plans, land is being fully utilised, to check on improvements in terms of infrastructural development and mechanisation efforts farmers have made on their farms, revealed Ms Bare.

It is also during such inspections that the commission establishes if Agritex officers are visiting farmers regularly and assisting them.

"The information we gather during these inspections also helps when we want to recommend farmers for the issuance of 99-year leases. We are happy that most of the farmers we visited are doing very well with some producing high value crops even for export markets.
- the herald
Tags: Farmers,


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