The project seeks to assist the Ministry of Lands to improve the regulatory framework and management of the land, which can subsequently contribute to the revival of agriculture as a key driver for economic and social development in Zimbabwe, the EU said in a statement.
For the project, the EU will provide about 4.74 million euros and another 500,000 euros will be contributed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as the implementing partner of the project which will run until December 2017.
Zimbabwe implemented a land resettlement program beginning 2000 under which it acquired white-owned farms and parceled them to landless black people.
However, the new black farmers have no security of tenure, a situation that has hindered them from accessing loans from financial institutions and undermined agricultural productivity.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Douglas Mombeshora said the project will help 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,” he said.
EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme said the project has the potential to help Zimbabwe to return to what it once was: the bread basket of Africa.
He said to unlock the potential of agriculture land, close attention needs to be paid to the implementation of the land reform as a key factor to ensure a more prosperous and productive agriculture sector.
In this regard, the EU Ambassador encouraged the Zimbabwe 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.
The project will address critical areas such as the outstanding issues on valuation and compensation, conflict resolution, base mapping and surveying of the resettled areas.
In addition, the project foresees support to the functioning of the future Zimbabwe Land Commission, ensure that the Land information system within the Ministry is strengthened, effectively managed and coordinated and also plan to carry out a review of the Land Tenure Policy, a milestone to guarantee security of tenure for the different land categories. Enditem