Zimbabwe’s idle lands owned by Black farmers who benefitted from controversial land reforms two decades ago will be repossessed, Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka said on Wednesday.
People whose farmlands are unused and those who own multiple farms will lose land, he added.
The government will not repossess productive farms, the minister said.
The reclaimed plots will be reallocated to aspiring farmers from a waiting list left from earlier rounds of land reform processes launched by former President Robert Mugabe in 2000 to redress the inequalities resulting from British colonisation.
The new owners, poorly trained and ill-equipped, had left large tracts of arable land unused and the country once renowned as a breadbasket now suffers from chronic food shortages.
According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, some 10 million of Zimbabwe’s nearly 15 million people risk hunger by September after a poor rainy season.
Some white farmers have already been allowed to reclaim land through local partnerships and Vangelis Haritatos, deputy agriculture said “There are no specific criteria” all they want “Is a system that is fair to the greatest number of people” and “To achieve food self-sufficiency.”
The country has long depended on donors for basic food supplies.