HARARE – Government is expected to start rolling out the second phase of the national agricultural land audit which is expected to rationalise farm ownership and sizes.
Farmers are on the other hand are expected to start using the revised 99-year lease as collateral to access funding from financial institutions.
This came out during the presentation of the Ministerial statement by Finance and Economic Development, Minister Mthuli Ncube in Parliament on Wednesday.
Minister Ncube said the first phase of the audit had been complete and preparations for the next phase will start end of this Month.
“In 2018, His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa ordered an expeditious completion of the land audit which is expected to rationalise ownership and farm sizes. “Consequently, the Zimbabwe Land Commission (ZLC) undertook the first phase of the National Agricultural Land Audit which was conducted in ten districts across the country’s 10 provinces between October and November last year.
He said the first phase had constituted 6 percent of the targeted land covering more than 18 000 farmers.
“The audit indicated gross underfunding of the agricultural sector and recommended the establishment of a Land and Agricultural Bank to facilitate funding for resettlement farmers.
“It further recommended an integrated Land Information Management System (LIMS) to address shortcomings related to fraudulent land allocations, rampant illegal leasing of land parcels and gross underutilisation which is materially affecting agricultural output,” he said.
Minister Ncube said preparations for the second phase would be rolled out at the end of May in all the remaining districts across the country’s 10 provinces.
“The land audit will help inform Government’s agricultural policies and development of strategies for increasing productivity and also promote social equity and environmental sustainability,” he said.
Government embarked on the land audit to analyse land allocation data and extent of land distribution with respect to gender, equity classification, environmental management, extent of multiple land ownership and double allocations.
The other objectives are to assess land use planning with respect to farm sizes, ecological and farming enterprises or activities and assess the extent of tenure security and land rights of beneficiaries.
The exercise is meant to identify challenges and constraints to successfully address the agrarian reform agenda while it also helps Government to assess how farmers can be assisted to improve productivity, ensure food security and economic development.