Land sub-leasing law on cards

Deputy Minister Davis Marapira

Deputy Minister Davis Marapira

Agriculture Reporter
Government is drafting a regulatory framework on contract farming that is expected to deal with cases of resettled farmers who are leasing farms to white former commercial farmers, a senior official said last week.The new farmers are leasing the land under the disguise of engaging in contract farming, it was established.

This comes after several reports of some resettled farmers who are leasing out land to the white former commercial farmers under the pretext that they were working as partners.

The white former commercial farmers will use the land and make profit and pay a small fee to the farmer.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development responsible for crops, Cde Davis Marapira, said sub-leasing land was one of the areas the framework would address. He said the ministry was going to conduct an investigation with assistance from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement to find out the farmers who were leasing out land.

“We are going to carry out investigations on contract farming and the partnerships (that) farmers are undertaking and, we will deal with the culprits,” said Cde Marapira.

“It is illegal for resettled farmers to lease land. Farmers intending to venture into contract farming or partnerships should approach the Ministry of Agriculture’s economics and marketing department and also liaise with the Agricultural Marketing Authority for assistance.”

Cde Marapira said AMA would spell out Government’s expectations from the parties entering into a partnership.

“These institutions will assist the farmers with what is expected of them, what is expected of the contractor and how the partnership should be handled,” he said. Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora recently admitted to having received reports of farmers leasing out land to the former owners.

He said this was against the spirit of the land reform, which was meant to empower the indigenous people who were the rightful owners of the land.

Dr Mombeshora warned farmers doing so that they would have their farms repossessed and redistributed to other landless Zimbabweans on the waiting list.

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  • Mimi

    Contract farming of land to white farmers who are knowlegable and will put the land to the good use is better than having thousands of hectares of land lying idle. The threat to repossess land is a snub in the face for the government in any case.

    • Manqoba

      Agreed, cost effective and efficiently managed farms by competent white Zimbabwean farmers could return the nation’s bread-basket status, proven many times over by them having turned around the agricultural economies of several other African countries. I’m certain they could profitably sell their maize for far less than the gazetted $390 per tonne and remain competitive on the regional market. The less interference from incompetent Ministers and departments the better!

      • Zimbabwe United

        What are talking about?
        It took white farmers from 1890 to 1980 to produce the amount of tobacco that black farmers are already producing in a period of 10 years.
        Dont be too white-centric in your evaluation of agricultural productivity in Zim. Also look at the supportive financial instutions they accessed which black farmers do not have access to due largely to racist posturings by Western controlled banks.
        Get over this myth of biological white supremacy.

        • Londisizwe

          What are you talking about??
          It only took 4 years for dispossessed white Zimbabwean farmers who resettled in Zambia to turn around Zambia’s sub-standard agriculture and start producing bumper crops, sufficient to create surpluses for export to feed their starving Zimbabwean brother citizens.

  • gulaz

    Any way,these are newly ressetled PEOPLE leasing their land to white commercial farmers becoz they have the expertise.ivo vanorima sora through out.

    • Zimbabwe United

      See my comment above. Your mind seems also warped in racial prejudice.

  • Telescope

    Ini ndiri kuda munda. I can do a better job than most resettled owners. Why tichishaiswa mukana?

  • Tarubva

    The land reform is totally a racist program designed to disenfranchise a certain group of Zimbabweans. How do you define a Zimbabwean? So those of any other color other than black born and raised here are not Zimbabweans? If they truly are, so why exclude them from participating as Zimbabweans in any program they so wish? How many children have been born by black people of Zimbabwean decent in the UK, SA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand? Do you think those children are indigenous Zimbabweans or indigenous South Africans, British, Canadians…? So those children should be excluded from participating in certain programs in their countries of birth? As long as we have people such as Marapira in our midst, the country will continue to be in free-fall. We need a completely different mind set, far from this divisive, racist and evil inclinations.

    • Zimbabwe United

      We said any white who needs land should apply for it like any other black Zimbabwean. No need to sound agitated over a very clear government position.

      • Tarubva

        Hey, what are you talking about? Who are you to say “we said…”? The minister has just said whites are not allowed even to be leased land to. The President has made it clear that no white must own land in Zimbabwe, and you know it. Why are you hiding behind a finger? In any case, why dispossess them only to reallocate them again? You are defending the indefensible, and as long as we have people like you, hypocrites, we will remain condemned as a country!

  • Tinoz

    If the ressetled farmers dont want to use the land it must be given to black people who are on the waiting list rather than being give to the whites again…there are so many Zimbabweans who are capable of mass production but they do nto have the land.

  • Agric graduate

    My heart is hurt when I have both the expertise and can find funding to go out there and do +-600 Ha of maize if given a chance.There is nothing that the white farmer is doing that I and my former Agric graduates can’t do if not better,but we have no land and have been on the waiting list since the land reform started.Please minister,as much as you are in the process of sorting out these guys who are returning land clandestinely back where it shouldn’t be returned,may you spare a moment for fellow black Agric graduates who some will do anything to get back to what they love best,that is farming.We have guys that have been in this game as both managers and assistant managers for the previous white farmers who at that time because of their managerial positions where labeled all sorts of things,and where then kicked out together with the whites.We all know that manager kana foromani achigona basa haafarirwi nevashandi and when the land reform kicked in these guys where not spared and yet they could have the answers to poor productivity and underutilization in agriculture?at the risk of sounding whiny please minister it’s not just a matter of looking at the waiting list and giving land to the next guy on the list.Lets do it right this time around.We know it had to be done and done the way it was,but can we do it better this time.

    • Ngara

      That is very true.