Reprieve for small-scale farmers

The Vungu Rural District Council has pledged to give a 25% discount to every small scale farmer who comes forward to settle their development levy arrears.

The council is owed $1.1 million dating back to 2009. Farmers are charged $1 development levy per every hectare they occupy. 70% of the funds are meant to enable the council to develop key infrastructure in the area. The remainder is for administration and other costs involved in the operations of the council.

Infrastructure in the district is fast deteriorating as council fails to meet the basic costs of repairs. Worst affected is the 741km road network covering the area. Many roads have been rendered impassable by recent rains.

“A resolution has been made by the council to help reduce the burden of the farmers who are finding it hard to settle their development levy arrears. We hope the discount will encourage them to cooperate,” said Wellington Ngulube, CEO of the council.

The same discount has been arranged for farmers who approach the council to pay their 2012 levies by March.

“Last year we rehabilitated a road-network covering 300km. This year a similar programme is underway. In total we hope to work on 310km,” Ngulube said.

Bus operators who pulled out of the route on basis of poor roads are likely to resume operations after the programme.

That will ease the present problems of villagers who have been walking for about 18km to access transport on the Bulawayo-Harare highway.

Post published in: Agriculture

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