Farm ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion in­ten­si­fies

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Sun­day Mail Re­porter

GOV­ERN­MENT has de­ployed a probe team into farms to draw in­for­ma­tion on oc­cu­pancy, util­i­sa­tion and cases of sub-let­ting as the op­ti­mi­sa­tion of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion gath­ers mo­men­tum.

The Sun­day Mail un­der­stands that a fact-find­ing team is cur­rently in Mashona­land West Prov­ince to visit at least 300 farms be­fore com­pil­ing a re­port for sub­mis­sion to the Min­istry of Lands and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment.

Rec­om­men­da­tions from the team, which will visit all eight agri­cul­tural prov­inces, are ex­pected to guide the Gov­ern­ment in the cur­rent drive to down­size and dis­trib­ute idle land.

Sec­re­tary for Lands and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment Am­bas­sador Grace Mu­tandiro said the ex­er­cise is part of the farm ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion pro­gramme.

“We have a team in Mashona­land West tar­get­ing about 300 farms to find out the value of the farms, oc­cu­pancy, util­i­sa­tion and all other re­lated as­pects,” she said.

“We have also re­ceived re­ports of farm leas­ing and we are ver­i­fy­ing the re­ports. If we ver­ify the re­ports to be true, we will sum­mon those im­pli­cated since no one is al­lowed to form any part­ner­ships in the use of land with­out Gov­ern­ment’s ap­proval.”

The farm in­ves­ti­ga­tions come a few months af­ter Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe warned peo­ple against leas­ing out land, es­pe­cially to the for­mer white farm­ers whom he ac­cused of launch­ing a cal­cu­la­tive move to re­turn to the farms.

Gov­ern­ment is down­siz­ing and re­al­lo­cat­ing un­der­utilised farms to po­ten­tially pro­duc­tive lo­cal land seek­ers.

Am­bas­sador Mu­tandiro em­pha­sised that the ex­er­cise is not a re­ver­sal of land reforms, but rather an en­hance­ment as Gov­ern­ment re­vi­talises agri­cul­ture.

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