By Paidashe Mandivengerei
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said there is no going back on the Land Reform Programme that saw many white farmers lose farms to the state.
In the early 2000s thousands of white farmers had their land violently seized by government, a move that negatively affected the agricultural sector.
US$830 million has been availed towards the compensation of the farmers but none of them will be getting their land back as the process is ‘irreversible’.
Speaking at the recently held ZANU PF national conference in Goromonzi, Mnangagwa said his government though the District Development Fund (DDF) will provide local farmers with land cultivation services.
“Let me once again reiterate that the Land Reform Programme is irreversible.
The ongoing drive to make our land more productive has, however, suffered setbacks due to the persistent droughts caused by climate change. Government is rolling out comprehensive strategies to mitigate the negative impact of the unpredictable weather patterns, by increasing our water bodies and the total land under irrigation.
The resuscitation of small irrigation schemes such as Chental in Hwange; Cashel Valley in Chimanimani; Duncal in Esigodini; Mutondwe in Bindura and Dongaronga in Chegutu among others; are being accelerated. The construction of dams and drilling of boreholes must be evenly spread throughout the country’s districts and provinces.
There should be no favoritism in this regard.Under the agriculture modernisation and mechanisation programme, various schemes are underway to ensure increased availability of tractors, planters, harvesters and center pivots. I am aware of the loss of draught power among the small holder communal farmers as a result of the death of cattle, due to the drought and livestock diseases. DDF will ensure that tillage services are availed to our people throughout the country.”