Vongai Chinjeke–Herald Reporter
Government has withdrawn offer letters from two farmers in Manicaland Province who were not utilising the land.
The land amounts to more than 600 hectares, which were acquired under the Land Reform Programme.
In a notice yesterday Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka said the farms were being withdrawn as one of the owners was not utilising the land, while the other farm had not been taken up.
“Notice is hereby given to the land beneficiary that the acquiring authority intends to withdraw his offer letter for not taking up his plot in contravention of the terms and conditions of their offer letters. The beneficiary should respond to the notice within 14 working days of this publication,” said Minister Masuka.
The respondents were identified as van Rensburg of Cavala Farm in Makoni, and one E Matibiri of Brondesbury Farm in Nyanga.
Cavala Farm was abandoned while Brondesbury had not been taken up.
Government has identified a number of underutilised farms countrywide amid indications that applicants on the waiting list could soon be allocated land.
The ministry recently introduced a system where production at the farms will be monitored and those not fully utilising land will lose it to other willing farmers.
Under the new policy, farmers resettled under the A1 and A2 schemes must submit mandatory production returns to the Lands Ministry by January 31 next year, failure of which will result in the farms being considered for reallocation to people on the waiting list.
The move is meant to transform A2 farmers into agricultural entrepreneurs. Their farms should become viable businesses by 2025 while A1 farmers will be transformed through Government production schemes to become viable and formal small to medium enterprises by 2025.