via Editorial Comment: Recalling A1 offer letters ill-timed | The Herald November 12, 2013
The recalling of offer letters issued to A1 farmers, while a step in the right direction in auditing land ownership, has come at the wrong time as farmers are seized with crop production matters. Getting the new land ownership document involves travelling to the offices of the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and obviously this means being away from the land at a critical time farmers should be busy with operations.
We have no problem at all with the recalling of the offer letters and we understand what the Ministry is seeking to achieve.
While the exercise will benefit the ministry by enriching its database, it will also protect the farmers from being moved off the land by corrupt lands officers as they will now be expected to take personal and permanent residence on the allocated land.
The ministry also made it clear that no one will lose or be removed from the land and that should be good news to the farmers and it should be the reason why they must support the exercise.
It is only the timing that we are worried with.
We would have expected the exercise to have been done at any other time other than now when farmers are busy tilling the land, mobilising inputs, such as seed, chemicals and fertiliser. They spend much of their time preparing to farm and being productive.
Dividing their time between sorting out the offer letters and land preparation can be a big problem and naturally it is production that suffers at the end of the day.