The agriculture sector has welcomed amendment of 99 year leases and extending the offer to all willing farmers while calling for measures which ensure farmers on the land utilise it to its full capacity.   

Extension of 99 years leases to the generality of Zimbabweans regardless of race, creed or gender has been welcomed as a positive development by the agriculture sector.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union executive director Mr Paul Zakariya said guarantees are now required to ensure the leases are bankable aiding easy access to capital.

“One would want to look at whether that land is put to good use because you are locking it for a period of 99 years,” he said.

A capacity building programme focused on commercial agronomic practices that ensure farmers increase the low yields is necessary to back the issuing of 99 year leases otherwise the documents will be ineffective, notes chairman of the Soil Science Professor Sheunesu Mupepereki.

For Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union executive director Mr Jeremiah Tevera, there is an information gap that needs to be filled since farmers are yet to see the document and also get assurance from bankers that they will be accepting the document as collateral.

From the amendment of the 99 year leases to providing inputs and subsidised grain payments, government  is walking the talk on positioning agriculture as the main stay of the economy, what remains is for farmers to deliver results by providing sufficient food for the nation and adequate raw materials for downstream industries.