Zimbabwe Land Commission visits SAGCOT Centre

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September 10, 2018
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September 30, 2018

L-R- Luke Buka, Commissioner, Zimbabwe Land Commission, Thammary Brenda Vhiriri, General Manager Legal, Zimbabwe Land Commissioner and Ted Muzozora, Deputy Chairperson, ZLC

In 2016, Zimbabwe established a land commission mandated to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency in the administration of agricultural land vested in the State. For the past two years, the Zimbabwe Land Commission has conducted land audits and made recommendations to Government, on equitable access to holding and agricultural lands, dispute resolution, and infrastructure among other roles.

4,500 hectares initially inhabited by 4,500 large-scale farmers in Zimbabwe, now is populated by 145,000 smallholder farmers who, with deliberate investment in them, can revive the productivity of the hectares they reside on.

As the government acquires more land following the various audits, the next step is to restore the productivity of the land. The Zimbabwe Land Commission set out on a fact-finding mission to Tanzania; to understand its land policies and mechanisms with support from the Tanzania Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement; and also find the best practices to revive its agricultural industries.

SAGCOT Centre was privileged to host the delegation from the Zimbabwe Land Commission led by Deputy Commissioner Ted Muzoroza, on 20 September 2018, to share some of the best practices employed by SAGCOT Partners to actualise the SAGCOT Initiative.

“Commercialisation of the smallholder farmer is possible,” SAGCOT Centre, CEO, Geoffrey Kirenga urged. “95% of agriculture in Tanzania is smallholder farmers, and through the partnership approach we have employed in the SAGCOT Corridor, we are seeing the success in investing in smallholder farmers.”

Kirenga shared the success of collaborative farming, policy concerns tackled by government, to increased access to farm inputs and outputs. This has seen a huge shift in value chains such as potato, now with investments of USD 4 million supporting the entire potato value chain from inputs to processing and packaging ready for market.

“I am pleased to hear the potential that exists in smallholder farmers, by bettering our land governance system, managing the land properly and addressing equity. We can effectively delve into building the capacity of our smallholder farmers.” Muzoroza enthused.

Kirenga further pointed out the importance of aggregating farmers to ensure they achieved economies of scale. This process entails mobilising farmers into groups at village levels and building up their associations. This allows the farmers to still strike a balance between growing the commercial crop, and still use part of their land to grow subsistence crops for household consumption.

“The onus is on us as Africa to invest in and also develop the technology we need to build our agricultural industries. Following our deliberations today we see it is possible.” Muzoroza concluded.

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