Manicaland Provincial Lands Committee Starts Downsizing Underutilised Farms

The Manicaland Provincial Lands Committee has started the process of downsizing farms a move that would result in people who are failing to fully utilise their pieces of land losing it.

The process is targeting 2 farmers who benefited from the land reform programme and whose farms exceed recommended farm sizes, in an exercise expected to free up idle land for redistribution to the landless.

This is in accordance with the Statutory Instrument 288 of 2000 which spelt out the demarcation of farms sizes.

The exercise is also expected to help reduce the number of people on the land waiting list.

The recommended farm sizes range between 250 hectares in region one to 500 hectares in region five.

The Minister of State for Manicaland Mandi Chimene, who also chairs the provincial lands committee, says the process of downsizing farms will be done across the board.

Chimene said beneficiaries of the land reform programme who are failing to fully utilise their pieces of land will have to surrender their land,.

“There is no reason for Manicaland province to fail complying with the national regulations. A number of farms that have more than the stipulated sizes have already been identified.

“We implore farmers with more than the stipulated farm sizes to voluntarily approach the committee and surrender excess land before the committee moves in to implement its task,” said Chimene.

Under Statutory Instrument 288 of 2000, farmers who fall within Zone One in Manicaland areas that include parts of Nyanga, Mutasa, Chipinge and Chimanimani should have maximum land size of 250 hectares.

Those in Zone Two should have a maximum of 400 hectares while 500 hectares is the maximum size for farms in Zone Three.

Farmers in Zone Four are supposed to have 1 500 hectares with those in Zone Five expected to have a maximum of 2 000 hectares.

In an interview on national television to mark his 91st birthday in February, President Mugabe said a number of new farmers were failing to fully utilise their farms as they were too large. Source – zbc

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