‘Days of holding large tracts of idle land over’ – Mnangagwa

The days of people holding large tracts of idle land are over, and those not making optimal use of their allocated farms risk losing them, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Monday.

In Zimbabwe, farmland is government property, rented by farmers.

Recently, the Zimbabwean government gazetted the farm sizes permitted, depending on ecological regions.

READ | Zimbabwe looks to slash farm sizes in bid to improve productivity
Mnangagwa, while addressing provincial ministers, said those not fully utilising the land risk losing it.

“The ‘use it or lose it’ principle will apply over and above the maximum farm size restrictions,” said Mnangagwa.

“It is anticipated that the ongoing downsizing of farms will avail more land to productive use. Our farming land must be used efficiently and optimally.

“The days of people holding large tracks of idle land are over,” Mnangagwa said.

Zimbabwe is finalising a land audit, the scope of which includes multiple farm ownership, under-utilisation of land, investments made on land parcels, and the skills and competencies of the land owners.

In mid-2019, Mnangagwa said the audit had revealed that Grace Mugabe, the wife of former president Robert Mugabe, owns 16 farms.