Government will soon carry out on-farm inspections to identify productive A1 farmers that deserve to receive the A1 settlement permits that were launched last week by President Mugabe amid fears that those farmers found deficient could lose their land. The audits could result in unproductive farmers losing land to people on the waiting list.
Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora last week said a land audit would be carried out to determine A1 farmers who were fully utilising land to qualify for the A1 permits. “Government will not hesitate to withdraw offer letters from farmers who are not productive and others who are subleasing their land,” he said.
“We have cases of people who have been allocated land, but have abandoned it and instead are subleasing to the former white owners.
“While we understand that as Government we have not been able to fully support our farmers and financial institutions are not keen to lend money to them, we do not see subleasing as a solution.
“Those subleasing farms to former owners should pave way for genuine farmers who are ready to work on the land and I want to state that I will not hesitate to withdraw offer letters from those proved to be subleasing their land.
“I would like to urge those holding on to large tracts of land they are not able to use to volunteer subdivision of that land to allow others on the waiting list to get access to land.”
Dr Mombeshora said farmers who were illegally settled were not going to get A1 permits.
A1 permits confirm ownership of specific pieces of land by resettled farmers.
The permits are not transferable and bear a map of the plot allocated and details of the beneficiaries and their spouses, even in cases of polygamy. They state that each farmer is entitled to six hectares of arable land and access to communal grazing land.