Shiri calls for productivityAir Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd)

Thandeka Moyo Bulawayo Bureau
GOVERNMENT is pushing for productivity on the land and there is need for stability on farms anchored on adherence to the law. In a statement yesterday, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Settlement Minister Retired Air Chief Marshall Perrance Shiri said Government will continue to give policy guidelines to ensure that farmers utilise farms.

“While the Government is noticing some improvement in these resettlement areas, it is its wish to see more being done in order to improve both production and productivity in these areas. On its part Government will continue to give enabling policy guidelines and the necessary technical and extension support services in order to facilitate the efforts of the farmers and other stakeholders to bring about productivity,” said Minister Shiri.

He said for productivity to be achieved, there is need for peace and stability on the farms.
The minister said wanton cutting down of trees must stop.
He said Government is working with personnel from EMA, Agritex and the security establishment to stop destructive tendencies on farms.

“People should also guard against veld fires. Our local leadership, working with Government personnel from EMA, Agritex and the security establishment, should assist to make sure that any perpetrators are brought to book and this destructive practice is nipped in the bud in order to save our precious environment for future generations.

“Roaming of livestock in resettlement areas is not allowed as this disrupts production on neighbouring farms.
“Farmers who continue to be a problem risk having their offer letters withdrawn so as to enable production to continue with unnecessary interruptions from them. We encourage farmers to report to our extension staff and to the police such problem farmers,” said Minister Shiri.

“Flue-cured tobacco farmers are encouraged to use coal and not cut down trees as they are currently doing. The country will turn into a desert in no time at all should this practice be allowed to continue. People should guard against veld fires.”

He said the urgent need for fire guards, soil and water conservation woks, crops rotation, planned grazing, paddocks and farm boundary fencing cannot be over emphasised.

“Once a farm or subdivision is title surveyed, boundary fencing should commence within three months after that survey. Farmers who continue to be a problem risk having their offer letters withdrawn so as to enable production to continue without unnecessary interruptions from them,” said the Minister.

“I strongly recommend that all farmers should in due course, seek that their farms have land use plans produced in order to guide land utilisation. Agritex, through its Agricultural Land Use planning branch, is ready and has the capacity and capability to offer such services.”

He also said farmers and members of the public should report any unruly behaviour from land officials.