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Zimbabwe government should have a clear Land & Agriculture policy

02 Feb 2018 at 16:41hrs | Views
Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
A policy is a set of measures or tools adopted by an organization for reference purpose or guiding the organization. It defines the moment, or gives clear directions on how to operate. Our agric sector has been disarray for too long, and it is critical for ED and team to involve policy makers and researchers so that they can do feasibility studies on how to come up with an authentic blue print which can guide the whole nation on how to improve productivity levels. Agriculture in the past used to provide 60% of Foreign Direct Investment. According to Human Development Index, 75% of our population relied mainly from Agriculture directly or indirect. Agric sector is very critical in turning around our economy. I would suggest that instead of going to the international community with a begging bowl, it is critical for ED and team to sit down and come up with a clear policy frame work with attract investment in the agric sector. I don't see the international community bailing this country anytime soon, with our natural resources if properly managed and put into good use, with proper policies we can turn around this economy and provide sustainable development. Agriculture policy is importance for providing food security and employment creation for our youth who have resorted to vending activities.

Discriminatory Land Policy

We have a challenge in Zimbabwe, which was created by Mugabe's regime, which led to farm invasions, land disputes, grabbing of assets, scaring away investors, repossession of farms, absent of title deeds etc. productivity levels went down and because our economy was mainly driven by agric sector, there was loss of employment and mass exodus of farmers from Zimbabwe. Land issues are of crucial importance to economic and social development, growth, poverty reduction, and governance. Access to land is the basis of economic and social life in both rural and urban areas. Land tenure is a complex problem comprising political, economic, technical, legal and institutional factors. Land tenure closely binds together issues of wealth, power and meaning. Control over land forms a significant part of the identity and maintenance of rural society. Land policies determine who has legal rights of access and/or ownership to certain resources and under what conditions, and therefore how these productive assets are distributed among diverse stakeholders. Land policies therefore express, implicitly or explicitly, the political choices made concerning the distribution of power between the state, its citizens, and local systems of authority. The multiple dimensions to land issues require a careful and well-implemented approach which places current land issues within the broader historical, political economic and social context. Political ownership, willingness and commitment are key factors for the definition and implementation of effective land policies and/or land reforms. Land reforms often reflect political compromises between various objectives and interest groups. It is the responsibility of national governments interacting with civil society to make their own land policy choices and craft feasible and effective solutions.

One Man and One Farm

Our agric system was destroyed by political and selfish interests. Land invasions was mainly driven by political pressures. It had nothing to do with the economy. This led to paralysis of the agric sector. Most politicians who are inexperienced in farming sector grabbed most commercial farms which were set aside for commercial purpose. Some politicians have grabbed more than 2 farms, with the latest former first family grabbing almost 12 farms. How then do you expect Zim agric sector to grow when land is lying idle. I urge minister Shiri to revise the land policy which must be enacted into law to encourage all farmers to stick to one man one farm policy. The issue of land was never addressed, we still have a land question in Zimbabwe, which remain disputed despite more than 1000 farms being distributed under A1 farm acquisition, still we have housing problems, we have food deficit, we have food security issues, we have high rate of unemployment. I urge Air commander Perence Shiri to revise the land policy and set side at least 60% of land must be for commercialization. It is critical for Government to encourage investors who want to invest in agriculture, to merge with locals, investors are encouraged to bring equipment, capital injection and Zimbabwe farmers must provide land, and they must employ 70% of locals to widen the revenue base and increase productivity.

Property Rights

Rural land is an asset of the greatest importance in many parts of the world, both developing and developed. In the former, a high proportion of income, employment and export earnings stems from agricultural production and other land-based activities. Poverty is also particularly marked in rural areas and control of land is a major issue for peasant societies. In the absence of much economic diversification, access to land and natural resources is of especial importance for improving the livelihoods of poorer groups and providing greater security. Land constitutes an asset and a source of wealth for families and individuals as well as for communities, with strong links to cultural and spiritual values. Ownership and control over land confer very significant political power, particularly where land is becoming scarcer and hence more valuable. Land issues and conflicts are deeply embedded in the long-term social, economic and political history of a country and must be understood in that context. The interrelated social, institutional and political factors involved in land make it an asset different from all others. Land is never just a commodity. It combines being a factor of production, with its role as family or community property, a capital asset and a source of identity. This mixture of qualities is not necessarily a constraint, as can be seen from the active market in land use rights that exists in many smallholder farming systems operating under

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as the Head of Southern Institute of Policy Analysis and Research – SIPAR TRUST, which is responsible for policy analysis and research. He is also an academic and researcher. He holds a BA, MA from Solusi University, and he also holds a Masters of Development Studies from University of Lusaka, Zambia. He is currently enrolled at University of KwaZulu Natal University in South Africa (PHD in Development Studies). He is also an adviser to many financial and political institutions within and outside Zimbabwe. He can be contacted at

Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
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