GWERU- The Zimbabwe Farmers Union youth chairperson says lack of access and ownership of land is hindering young people to venture into full time farming.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ZFU’s 83rd congress in Gweru, William Madudike told The Midweek Watch that for years youth have been deprived access to land and are relying on joint ventures.
Adding that the “joint ventures are taking too long to be processed”.
“Over the years, 90% of young people depend on Joint ventures and it’s not easy when you have produced well to stay on that land. Farm owners begin to shift the goal posts and the protection afforded by these joint ventures does not give the space for recourse.
“We need these things to be expedited and for us to be protected. There must be a special division that handles joint ventures for young people,” he said.
He said 67 percent of young people are in agriculture, which is an essential sector for food production.
Madudike added that if given land ownership, the youth can easily “implement the knowledge based interventions and solutions in agriculture better than the older generation because they have learnt them from school through the agricultural systems implemented by the government”.
Zimbabwe embarked on agrarian land reform in 2000 to address imbalances in land access and ownership where minority whites traditionally enjoyed superior economic status.
The redistribution exercise was however, marred with violence and corruption which led to the collapse of the economy.
However, Zimbabwe moved ahead on several fronts to ensure it has food security through the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy among others.
Resultantly, the country registered record maize and wheat harvest, but the unavailability of adequate resources and partisan land distribution continue to haunt the agricultural sector.