The government has promised to conduct the land audit on numerous occasions over the years – but the exercise has never happened.
Speaking to The Zimbabwean after a district stakeholders’ consultative meeting by her ministry in Mutare last week Muchinguri said: “We have realised that many people are not making use of their farms yet there are many out there now interested in farming. Soon, there will be an audit team that will move around the country and repossess idle land.”
She said idle land would be given to women who have plans to farm seriously. “We realised that 80 percent of women in the rural areas are agro-based so we came up with the women in farming concept to drive empowerment of women in agriculture,” she said.
The minister urged women to be part of the different associations that cover all sectors of the economy in order to promote their participation in farming and improve the economy. She also called for value addition and employment creation.
“In Nyanga there are women who grow potatoes, so for value addition let us have potato crisps being produced like the ones that used to be made by Willards,” said Muchinguri.
“Women can form cooperatives and buy machinery to produce potato crisps rather than import them. Why don’t we grow citrus fruits anymore? The land is there to grow grapes, lemons, oranges to mention a few. All these fruits can be blended to make juices, but we find ourselves importing juices from South Africa,” the minister said.
“Such value additional projects are the projects we want to see and fund as government and my ministry is challenging women to be at the forefront of these projects,” she added.Post published in: Agriculture