Zambia Offers Free Farmland
- News for Anarchists & Activists:
Zambia offers free farm land
03/02/2003 16:55 - (SA)
by Shapi Shacinda
Lusaka - Zambia will offer thousands of hectares of free
farmland in a bid to end persistent food shortages and
encourage agricultural exports, finance ministry officials
said on Monday.
A pilot project would start soon by offering 90 000 hectares
of farmland in Serenje, central Zambia, and 100 000 hectares
in Kaoma, southern Zambian, said Deputy Finance Minister
Agriculture ministry officials said Zambia was looking to
initially parcel out 1 000ha plots to commercial farmers
with capital to start work immediately - growing maize, as
well as fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, coffee and
Only 2.7 million hectares of Zambia's 18.2 million hectares
arable land is utilised.
With five rivers and a high water table, Zambia is a prime
target for irrigation farming and the government is
embarrassed that its people starve despite the huge farming
Kalifungwa said it was envisaged that any commercial farmers
who could support more than 1 000ha of land could get it as
the country moved to diversify its economy away from copper
and cobalt mining.
"If an investor wants 10 000ha and can show that they have
the capacity to till it, we shall give it to them. The idea
is to ensure that we start putting all our land to proper
use," said Kalifungwa.
In his budget on Friday, Finance Minister Emmanuel Kasonde
set aside $2.9m for electricity and roads in Kaoma and
Agricultural ministry officials said the government had
targeted some of Zimbabwe's white farmers, whose land was
seized for blacks by President Robert Mugabe.
More than 130 Zimbabwean white farmers have bought parcels
of land in Zambia and they will be eligible to gain free
land under the new programme.
"White farmers have shown their commitment to land in
Zimbabwe and we feel that Zambia could gain from their
professionalism," said a senior government official.
A vast majority of Zambia's 11 million population are urban
dwellers who shy away from tilling land. The lack of a
farming tradition is partly blamed for food shortages in
Some 14.4 million people in six southern African countries -
Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland
- face critical food shortages because of a combination of
drought and poor farm management.
Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
All my fiction through 2001 and more. Intro by S.T. Joshi.
Lord Weÿrdgliffe and Necronomicon Page:
News for Anarchists & Activists:
Said Smygo, the iconoclast of Zothique: "Bear a hammer with
thee always, and break down any terminus on which is
written: 'So far shalt thou pass, but no further go.'"
--Clark Ashton Smith