2 March 2018

Zimbabwe: 'International Food and Value Chains the Way to Go'

Zimbabwe needs to develop strategies for it to participate in international food and agricultural value chains which will result in the country adding more foreign currency to its basket.

There has been disputes around Zimbabwe's land tenure systems with analysts saying land in Zimbabwe is basis of wealth and its allocation and security determines the development of the country and quality to human life pace of development.

Agricultural consultant Maxwell Mutema recently told a National Consultative Dialogue Workshop on Land Tenure and Land Policy in Zimbabwe that Zimbabwe needs to have land tenure and land policy that is evidence based, with genuine and transparent wide stakeholder consultations and engagement

The workshop was hosted by Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) together with Real Estate Institute of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's agricultural land is predominantly under communal ownership, while resettled farmers under the A1 and A2 models own land through permits and 99-year leases respectively.

Mutema pointed out that land and agricultural policies promulgated by Government should contribute towards reducing risks in agricultural investments and the only way to participate in the global agricultural and food trade value chain is to meet international standards.

The Zimbabwe Land Commission has been since last year reviewing all land tenure systems in the country to ensure they promote investment and security of tenure with efforts being made to make the 99 year lease bankable

These followed challenges that farmers have been facing in accessing loans from financial institutions. He pointed out there is also need for mechanised or technology based farming without which there is no chance to participate in international agricultural value chains.

Mutema added that the private sector must be the driver of commercial farming with the Government only playing the role of the enabler.

"Large scale farming forms the basis of integrated agricultural production. Both scale and technology require intensive capital investment. Security of land tenure is a key factor in capital investment decision making," Mutema said.

"Formal ownership of property and assets are established to protect both the security of ownership and that of transactions of the asset and property. The security of transaction is critical and produces trust in the transactions so that people can more easily make their assets lead a parallel life as capital. Security of transactions allows citizens to move large amounts of assets with very few transactions."

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