Farming: Thumbs up for new A1 permits

Farmers and farmer organisations have hailed the introduction of permanent A1 land permits, calling it a “giant step” in the quest for productivity and empowerment.
President Mugabe launched the document at Chifundi Farm in Makonde last week, saying this would enable A1 farmers to assume full ownership of land.

At least 221 470 resettled farmers are set to receive the permits.

Mr Morris Mukwe, the vice-chair of the Cotton Producers’ and Marketers’ Association of Zimbabwe, said introduction of the permit would “liberate” farmers from the “bondage” of contract farming.

“The Cotton Ginners’ Association is intimidating and bullying cotton farmers into accepting very low prices.
“Once the permits are in use, the farmers can approach banks and access loans.

“The farmers, and not the association, will then be in a position to determine and negotiate for the prices,” Mr Mukwe said.

Mr Patrick Muvingi, Hippo Valley Productive Sugarcane Farmers Association secretary for publicity and marketing, added that the permits would boost production and help develop infrastructure.

“The introduction of the permit is a giant step forward. Security of land had been the land reform exercise’s missing link.

“The permits will, without, doubt boost production and develop infrastructure.”

Mr Muvingi said farmers could form co-operatives or approach financial institutions as individuals and access loans.

“Financial institutions are willing to support the farmers. The major sticking point had been the issue of collateral.

“The new permit will, once and for all, deal with issues to do with insecurity,” a clearly excited Mr Muvingi said.

Mr Simon Tachiveyi, an A1 farmer from Royden Farm near Norton, told The Sunday Mail Extra that introduction of the permits would help develop his area.

“Most of the farmers that were allocated land were not certain about their future. With the introduction of the permits, we are now going to build decent and permanent homes.

“The levies that we are going to pay will be used to rehabilitate our roads.A great future lies ahead of us,” Mr Tachiveyi said.

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