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Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora has said Government will introduce land rentals for all resettled farmers to ensure maximum utilisation.At least 300 000 people have been resettled while an equal number is on the waiting list. Addressing participants recently at the National Defence College course 3 2014 on the “Land Tenure System and its Implication on National Security”, Dr Mombeshora said A1 farmers will be charged a flat figure while A2 farmers will be charged per hectare.

Dr Mombeshora said part of the money will be used to conduct a land audit that will be carried out next year.

“Government has introduced land rentals which have been approved. What is remaining is to present it to Cabinet. What is now left are the figures. I have to sit down with the Minister of Local Government and Public Works Dr Ignatius Chombo to see what is the reasonable figure to charge our farmers,” he said.

Dr Mombeshora said all contract farmers and joint ventures were only allowed if they were registered with his ministry to curb the danger of farmers selling back the land to former colonisers.

He warned all resettled farmers not to lease land without approval from Government.

“Government is allowing contract farming, joint ventures and partnerships for resettled framers as long as they are registered with the Minister to ensure improved productivity,” he said.

He said Government was stressing the issue of maximum farm sizes according to ecological regions to ensure that as many people can assess land.

“During Phase One of the land reform covering the period 1980 to 1998, Government managed to resettle 71 000 households on 3,5 million hectares against a target of 162 000 households in the first 10 years.

“In October 1998, there was a donor conference organised to speed up the implementation of the land reform programme. Soon after the conference, the inception of phase two was implemented up to June 2000 and 4 697 families were resettled.

Source : The Herald