GOVERNMENT has slammed fresh farm invasions, saying such activities were hampering economic recovery.
In a budget statement yesterday, Finance minister Herbert Mu
rerwa said disruptions on farming activities were not in the national interest.
“In order to effectively guarantee productivity on the farms and enhance food security, government is committed to enforce utmost discipline in the agricultural sector,” Murerwa said. “Any disruption of farming activities is not in the national interest and will not be tolerated.”
Murerwa said viability of agriculture would also attract private sector investment.
“Agriculture remains the backbone of the economy,” Murerwa said. “All stakeholders acknowledge the need for the timely provision of agricultural inputs, financial incentives and returns that ensure the viability of agriculture.
This is the only way that farmers can invest their time, energy and financial resources into farming.”
He said government would offer post-harvest producer prices that allow farmers to be viable and cover their costs and to re-invest in agricultural production.
Murerwa said the Grain Marketing Board would be tasked to manage strategic grain reserves.
“Government will put in place administrative arrangements to facilitate the marketing of grain by the private sector contract growers in order to reduce transaction costs,” said Murerwa.
Over the past two months, the few remaining white farmers have become prime targets of invasions.
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono has also denounced the fresh wave of farm seizures as criminal.
However, Zanu PF thugs and armed militants have continued with the land grab, violently kicking out white farmers in a number of provinces.
The Commercial Farmers Union reported attacks of farmers in the Glen Forest – Welston area north of Harare, where groups of people appeared at a number of farms demanding that the owners hand over keys to their dwellings and leave immediately. The invading persons claimed to be members of the Land Audit Committee.
In the Bindura district, the two remaining white farmers were ordered to leave their properties in October.
Uncertainty prevails in the Makoni district’s Headlands, Rusape and Nyazura areas, where 40 commercial farmers are still on their properties.
Ruling party militants in October evicted six coffee and macadamia-producing white commercial farmers in the Chipinge area.