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Govt intensifies land redistribution in Mashonaland West

by Staff reporter
10 Nov 2019 at 08:49hrs | Views
Government is set to intensify its efforts in subdividing farms exceeding the recommended size as well as repossess underutilised land in Mashonaland West, Provincial Affairs minister Mary Mliswa has said.

Speaking at the launch of Mhuri Farming Tobacco Seedling Scheme in Karoi on Friday, Mliswa urged beneficiaries of the land reform programme not producing to the expected capacity of their land that they risked losing part or all of it to serious farmers.

"Some of you have 400 hectares and you are growing grass and when we say we want to cut a portion to give serious farmers you become violent, but you are doing nothing there," said Mliswa.

"Those with a passion end up renting from those that are failing to utilise the land. This is something that we should think about, that if you cannot produce on the hectrage you were given here in Hurungwe just give it up before we [government] get there."

Mashonaland West, considered the best farming region in the country, is home to a third of the country's 180 000 tobacco growers and according to Mliswa full utilisation of the land could bring immense development to the area.

"We want our farms to produce more but that cannot happen if we continue holding on," she said.

"I know some of you have received letters that your land will be cut, do not be sad because this was done after assessment and it was seen that you probably could not manage all the land or it surpassed the stipulated hectrage in this region."

Meanwhile, Mhuri Farming CEO Pardon Mhuri said the self-funded project currently being run on rented land has been set up to provide good quality seedlings at affordable prices for farmers in the region.

"This project started as an idea after realising the fact that tobacco farmers struggle to get good quality seedlings to ensure a good quality crop," said Mhuri, who has intentions of expanding the project next year.

"Our intention is to contribute to the economic growth by ensuring that tobacco, which is the backbone of commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe, increases its contribution to gross domestic product from this year ownwards."

According to the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, the crop accounts for 15% of the GDP of the country and 25% to total exports.

Over 95% of the country's tobacco consists of flue-cured tobacco, which is renowned for its flavour.

Source - the standrad