By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
GOVERNMENT has resumed the farm downsizing exercise suspended in 2015 and is prioritising pieces of land that exceed the recommended maximum size or where beneficiaries have died leaving the land not fully utilised.Speaking during Zanu-PF Midlands Provincial Coordinating Committee on Development, Midlands Provincial Lands Officer Ms Kudzayi Katiyo said Government had resumed the farm downsizing exercise to enable more people to benefit from the land and ensure maximum utilisation of farms.
The province has over 12 000 people on the waiting list.
Ms Katiyo said the farm downsizing exercise will precede the second phase of land redistribution which will prioritise youths, women and liberation war veterans.
“We are now on the second phase of the land allocation exercise. Under the second phase we will be downsizing farms that exceed recommended maximum farm sizes.
“In the Midlands Province the standard farm size is 500ha. This exercise started in 2015 but was suspended. In 2016 we started compiling the reports of why we had decided to reduce the sizes of some of the farms,” said Ms Katiyo.
“I would want to inform you that we finished the exercise and the downsizing exercise has resumed. This will be followed by land allocation. We are going to be prioritising youths, women and liberation war veterans,” she said.
In 2015, Midlands Provincial Lands Committee recommended downsizing of over 50 farms for resettlement from owners who have over the years failed to maximize on crop or livestock production.
The farms, according to recommendations from the provincial lands committee, will be downsized into viable plots for allocation to other potential land owners.