COMMERCIAL Farmers Union of Zimbabwe (CFU), vice president Andrew Pascoe says government should consider issuing title deeds to beneficiaries of the land reform exercise to unlock value for agricultural land and attract long term investment.
Pascoe said the post election government must seriously consider taking a strong policy position on the provision of title deeds to resettled farmers.
“Without doubt agriculture is based on land tenure and title deeds confer certain rights that include giving value to the land and ability to access finance unfortunately these have not been passed to beneficiaries of the land reform exercise. The mid- long term sustainability of agriculture requires title deeds. We require a strong policy position on land security and once that is done everything else will fall into place”, said Pascoe at the African Development Bank roundtable with the Zimbabwe private sector.
Government has issued 99 year leases to some beneficiaries of the land reform under the A2 model.
However, financial institutions are not too keen on accepting the leases as collateral arguing they do not offer sufficient cover in the event of default.
Agriculture is critical to Zimbabwe’s economy providing 30 percent of export earnings and contributing 19 percent to GDP, while 70 percent of the population still survives on farming.