By Staff Reporter
THE Government of Zimbabwe says fully productive farms will be exempt from downsizing as focus should be on increasing utilisation and productivity.
Initially Government had started work on downsizing farms in the country’s five ecological regions regardless of their productive status which caused an outcry amongst farmers who were fully utilising their agriculture land.
Government said the decision to downsize was aimed at increasing access to land for its citizens.
However, in a joint statement issued by the ministers of Agriculture and Finance the move to downsize farms will be shelved until agricultural land under multiple farm ownership, derelict and/or under-utilized has been brought into production.
“Consistent with the Second Republic’s thrust to increase production and productivity in the agricultural sector and in order to anchor the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030, Government has taken a deliberate policy position to initially exempt fully utilized productive farms from downsizing until agricultural land under multiple farm ownership, derelict and/or under-utilized has been brought into production. Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Provincial Lands Committees shall ensure strict adherence to this policy”.
Further the Government warned individuals and groups that are invading and disturbing activities on farms that the practice must come to end.
In recent months the country has witnessed invasion of some highly productive farms despite the occupants having bona fide offer letters from Government.
“Government has received numerous reports regarding the resurgence of illegal land occupations, particularly on highly productive farms thereby disrupting production. This comes at a time when the focus should be on increasing utilisation and productivity on agricultural land.
These illegal farm occupations are taking place in complete disregard of offer letters which Government has issued to the affected farmers. Such disorderly behaviour among our citizens is indiscipline of the highest level which Government does not condone or tolerate. It should stop forthwith”.