Munesu Nyakudya Business Reporter
The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme are set to provide a combined €5,24 million ($5,87 million) to support the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement in efforts to unlock economic potential in agriculture. The European Union will bring in €4,74 million; and the United Nations Development Programme €500 000. The European intervention, which was launched last week by Government and the two development partners, will run until December 2017. The project seeks to assist the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement improve the regulatory framework and management of land, subsequently contributing to the revival of agriculture as a key driver for economic and social development in Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Dr Douglas Mombeshora, said the project would capacitate the ministry to carry out its mandate of land administration
“When you look at the expected outputs for the project; that is, updated database, compensation mechanism, survey control network and survey of A2 farms, dispute resolution and capacitating the Zimbabwe Land Commission; you will note that they are in line with ministry objectives of providing security of tenure and ensuring improved livelihoods of all Zimbabweans through equitable and fair land distribution.
“As the ministry, we are pleased with the progress made to date. Equipment such as vehicles, computers and GPS have been availed, our staff have been trained and field work is being undertaken. “We are grateful to EU and UNDP for this support and look forward to fruitful future partnerships,” he said.
EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme said the project has potential to help Zimbabwe return to being the bread basket of Africa. The EU Ambassador also encouraged the Government to address some of the outstanding issues such as compensation of acquired land and the drafting of the new land Commission Bill, through an inclusive and participatory process.
UNDP Resident Representative Bishow Parajuli said his organisation was convinced there will be a ripple effect to other sectors of the economy, as the agriculture sector has huge potential to contribute to national Gross Domestic Product, poverty eradication and sustainable development in the country.