Brenda Ziga Herald Reporter
Urban and peri-urban farmers have appealed to Government for land to expand their operations to enable them to contribute meaningfully to national food security. The farmers said this at a field day in Hatcliffe, Harare, organised by Agritex in conjunction with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and Peri Urban Vegetable Producers (PUVP).
PUVP chairman Mr Wilfred Kachale Macheso said the peri-urban farmers were producing food crops on temporary lands which were being taken away for residential stands.
“We do not have land. The farms and plots we are using belong to other stakeholders. Hatcliffe and Kuwadzana gardens belong to schools and other areas are meant for future developmental purposes,” he said.
Mr Macheso said Government should allocate permanent pieces of land to individual peri-urban farmers. “Government should allocate permanent or long term lease land to the peri-urban farmers. It should allocate about three hectares per individual for horticulture purposes.
“We want to be involved in specialised crops with niche markets. These need high management and that is why we do not want large pieces of land,” he said.
Mr Macheso urged farmers to utilise the land they have to ensure food security in the country. Speaking at the same occasion, acting district administrator for Borrowdale District (Harare North) Mrs Vernah Zuva said the district would recommend hard working peri-urban farmers to Government for more land allocation.
“We encourage peri-urban farmers to apply to the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and we will assist them through recommendations,” she said.
Mrs Zuva hailed peri-urban farmers for producing vegetables which were good for the health of the people in Zimbabwe. “Peri-urban farmers should be given their own land as they are producing vegetables and fruits that are good for health,” she said.