zim new farmer.jpgThe Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement has cited the lack of government funding as one of the major hindrances to the successful carrying out of the land audit and the maximum utilisation of land.

Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement on the current land policy, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Mrs. Sophia Tsvakwi said the third land audit has been halted due to various challenges, chief among them lack of resources.

Mrs. Tsvakwi however said there is no reason to rush into conducting and implementing the land audit before addressing the plight of resettled farmers.

She said the farmers are owed millions of dollars in maize and wheat deliveries made to the GMB, adding that government is not giving adequate support.

Other issues that came under the spotlight are interest rates being charged by banks which the parliamentary committee said are too high to enable farmers to go back to the land and the issue of 99 year leases in which over 1 700 farms have been assessed.

Up to date 127 ninety-nine year leases have been issued with 1 307 recommendations having been made. 

Over 330 000 farmers have been resettled countrywide since the year 2000.