The government has launched a national land policy review programme which seeks to align the home grown agrarian reforms with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union Framework Agenda 2063.
Launching the land policy review in Harare, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrence Shiri told stakeholders to take a holistic approach from fast track land reform and come with a comprehensive gender sensitive land policy in line with significant changes in the land ownership structure and production patterns.
“In light of the significant changes in land ownership, the need to mitigate the effects of climate change, technological advances and international best practices amongst others, the government is compelled to adopt a comprehensive gender sensitive national land policy. Demand for land has grown exponentially in sectors of agriculture, urbanisation, infrastructure, mining, and energy, so the policy should integrate land administration in a holistic manner with aspects that include land tenure, access to land, land use planning, land information management, land disputes resolution, management of wildlife, forestry, water, among many others,” the Minister said.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Southern Africa and Zimbabwe representative, Dr Alain Onibon said by improving governance of tenure, the government will provide citizens with secure and equitable access to natural resources and consequently increase food security, livelihoods and strengthen socio-economic development.
“In a world where natural resources are fast diminishing in both quantity and quality, there is growing competition for access to land, forest and fisheries and water, hence governments are often challenged to respond to this growing pressure on national resources and to regulate interaction in this increasingly dynamic environment,” he said.
As the Zimbabwe consolidates its agrarian reform, approximately 14 million hectares previously owned by white commercial farmers are now owned by the state, with over 300 000 indigenous farmers having been resettled.
The land policy review is therefore expected to bring finality to the land issue, boost productivity and enhance food security.