'Be productive or lose land'

HARARE - Lands deputy minister Davis Marapira yesterday threatened to repossess underutilised farms in the next two months.

Marapira was addressing delegates at a Tobacco Conference in Harare.

He called on farmers to start being productive or face the consequences.

“In the next two months I will be going around farms and if I find that there is no good farm manager and the owner is absent, I will repossess the farm.

“As government through the Lands ministry, when we allocated farmers land we had two issues, the farmer had to be on the land or hire a good farm manager, but the majority of us are not on the land and do not have good managers,” Marapira said.

He urged all farmers to put their houses in order and increase production.

“I am very serious because farmers always come with issues and they think government should come up with a policy to address their issues.

“Let’s go and improve production and come to government with real issues. Get a good farm manager or you should be 110 percent on the farm. In the new dispensation I tell you absenteeism is an old story,” he added.

The decline in agriculture production over the years has been attributed to vast tracks of land lying idle as the new owners have failed to be productive.

Government has previously warned that beneficiaries with unproductive farms risk losing their pieces of land.