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Land Policy, Rural Development and Agriculture

Land Policy, Rural Development and Agriculture

 

Land Policy, Rural Development and Agriculture

Land is a finite productive resource upon which human livelihood and welfare depend.  It must be conserved and used productively. This strategic resource has been a bone of contention from the beginning of colonial rule, hence the need for a lasting solution, based on clear principles, that permits its productive use. 

ZAPU believes that there should be an Independent Land Commission whose functions will include the following:

  1. Land audit and determining productive farm size;
  2. Equitable land distribution and its utilization;
  • Ensuring that resettlement and communal farmers use the land productively;
  1. To work out land tenure system that is appropriate for the development of commercial farming in the resettlement and communal areas, and
  2. To work out modalities for compensating farmers whose improvements and movable property were appropriated without promised compensation during the chaotic land reform process.

The main components of ZAPU’s land policy include the following: 

  1. Equitable distribution of land taking into account the agro-ecological endowment of the region;
  2. Putting a limit to an amount of land owned by private individuals or companies;
  3. Utilising the land to its fullest potential;
  4. Conservation and sustainable use of land for the present and future generations;
  5. No foreigners and foreign companies will permanently own land in Zimbabwe, but they will be permitted to lease land for a given period;
  6. Reduction of reliance on subsistence farming by creating productive employment in non-farming sectors; and
  7. Compensation of farmers for improvements to lands and for movable property that was forcibly taken during the chaotic land reform process.

 Rural development: closing the rural-urban divide A big proportion of Zimbabwe's population (some estimate as much as 90%) still resides in rural areas. Historically the settler colonial system herded black Zimbabweans into "native reserves" which also served as labour reserves for industry and commercial agriculture. 

 Rural areas should move beyond subsistence agriculture and generate local employment opportunities for young people and reduce rural-urban drift .  Rapid development of infrastructure and basic services should be expanded to make growth points more attractive for business.

This will enable the extension of "value chains" into the rural areas, so that these areas do not produce raw materials only but can have local capacity to transform agricultural produce into higher value inputs to the larger urban areas as semi-processed and finished products.  

Among the elements needed for narrowing the gap between rural and urban areas are educational and skills training as well as health, rural electrification (including non-grid sources like renewable energy), communication and other  services. These measures will help youth avoid migrating to major towns and cities and even neighbouring countries.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 16/08/2017

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