THE government has instituted another audit into land utilisation by resettled farmers amid reports that it will repossess unproductive farms.
Agriculture minister Rugare Gumbo confirmed the audit yesterday.
“As government, we have started looking at how our farmers have fared in the utilisation of land they were allocated,” Gumbo said in an interview. “We want to establish who has done what on the land he was given and who has not.”
Since the advent of the land reform, four audits have been instituted by President Robert Mugabe to assess on the utilisation of land by farmers.
First was the Charles Utete (ex-secretary to the President and Cabinet) audit, which was split into two parts; then came the Flora Buka (then minister of state, lands, and land reform) audit that was eventually followed by the Didymus Mutasa (same ministry) audit. Gumbo said Zimbabwe was importing grain from neighbouring countries despite critical foreign currency shortages.
“We are trying all we can as government to import food from other countries, but we are faced with a challenge of raising foreign currency for the imports,” he said. “That is why we have been encouraging our farmers to increase their output capacity so that we can halt importation of food.”
Gumbo revealed that government made available US$13 million to local fertiliser manufacturing companies for the production of Ammonium Nitrate and Compound D fertilisers.
“We want to make sure that there are adequate inputs in the agricultural sector so that farmers stop complaining and do what they are supposed to do, which is to produce food. As I stated, we might want to wish things to happen but at the end of the day we will realise that our efforts are affected by the shortage of foreign currency,” Gumbo said.