Govt grabs 60 000ha in Masvingo

The government has compulsorily acquired 60 000 hectares of land in Mwenezi and Chiredzi districts from Tongaat Hulett. It will soon be dished out to Zanu (PF) supporters who are into cattle production.

Shuvai Mahofa, Masvingo provincial affairs minister.
Shuvai Mahofa, Masvingo provincial affairs minister.

Shuvai Mahofa, Masvingo provincial affairs minister, confirmed this to The Zimbabwean adding that the idea is to revive cattle production in the semi-arid region, sayingeach of the intended beneficiaries should engage in cattle production and have a minimum of 30 herd cattle.

“We are talking of under-utilised land which belonged to Tongaat which we have taken in order to give to cattle producers,” she said. Tongaat Hulett is the country’s sole sugar milling giant which owns Hippo valley and Triangle estates in the lowveld.

“There have never been problems in acquiring the land because it has been under-utilised, hence we are going ahead to dish it to Zanu (PF) supporters only who are into cattle production,” she added.

Cattle Producers Association provincial chairman Robert Makadho said they had started looking for people to benefit from the land acquisition. “Each of the beneficiaries will get at least 5 000 hectares of land depending on the number of cattle one has,” said Makadho.

“As cattle producers we welcome the move and we are urging those who will occupy the land to increase production,” he said. Masvingo province has an estimated herd of 1,4 million cattle.

Efforts to rebuild the provincial herd has been hampered by the outbreak of foot and mouth and anthrax cattle diseases, which have killed over 6 000 beasts during the past two years.

The country’s beef producing parastatal, the Cold Storage Company, has closed down nearly all its abattoirs due to viability problems and shortage of cattle for slaughter. Sources say a staggering $100 million is needed to recapitalise the ailing beef company.

Post published in: Agriculture

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