Government has stepped up efforts to collect payment of land rentals and raise awareness that state land is not for sale.

The Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement has embarked on an initiative to improve collection of land rentals by raising awareness among farmers and traders on the procedures for paying lease rentals, land rentals and development levy.

Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Grace Mutandiro said farmers have an obligation to pay land levies as this money finances land administration which is an expensive exercise.

“This is the time when most farmers are selling crop, the tobacco selling season has already closed so we are aware they have many and maize and soya bean farmers are taking their maize to GMB for payment, most farmers benefited from the command so this is the time for them to meet their obligations…..Some people think we are saying pay for the land as if land is for sale. We are saying land administration is expensive, we have to undertake inspections, verify there are no illegal settlements on farms and ensure there is productivity and that is expensive hence the need for rentals,” said Ambassador Mutandiro.

Ambassador Mutandiro said: “There have been impostors collecting money purporting to be lands officials, but the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement does not employ any agents to process applications for land as state land is not for sale”.

The land levy was initiated in 2015 through finance act no 8 of 2015 and it provides for US$3 per hectare per year and US$2 unit tax for A2 farmers per hectare annually while A1 communal farmers pay US$10 land rentals per year and US$5 unit tax.