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Chiredzi farmers get offer letters
Thursday, 28 February 2013 00:00
Government has issued nearly 150 offer letters to new A2 sugar cane farmers
allocated plots at Hippo Valley and Triangle sugar cane estates.
This brings to 1 000 the number of indigenous people now into commercial
production since the inception of the land reform programme over a decade
ago. Three Chiredzi chiefs namely Sengwe, Tshovani and Gudo whose subjects
had for long protested against their exclusion from sugar cane farming in
the Lowveld are among those who were given the offer letters.
The new farmers were issued with offer letters after Government entered into
an agreement with sugar cane growing giant Tongaat Hullet to develop nearly
4 000 hectares of virgin land at Hippo Valley and Triangle estates into
sugar cane plots.
Masvingo Governor and Resident Minister Titus Maluleke yesterday confirmed
that 150 offer letters were recently issued to indigenous players.
He said each of the beneficiaries would get about 20 hectares.
“Tongaat Hullet offered to develop nearly 4 000 hectares of virgin land at
Hippo Valley and Triangle that will be demarcated into individual plots for
the beneficiaries and the project will be done on a cost recovery basis,’’he
Governor Maluleke said they were now working on repayment modalities to make
sure that the new beneficiaries were not left vulnerable in the repayment
“Tongaat Hullet will develop the land and plant the initial cane and will
recover its money from the beneficiaries but we are working on a deal that
does not suffocate the new cane farmers,” said Governor Maluleke.
“We want them to be able to repay their loans but at the same time be able
to pay their workers to earn a living from cane farming and that is the deal
we are working on right now.’’
Under the deal, Governor Maluleke said, Tongaat Hullet would develop the
land build irrigation canals and plant the cane and would recover its money
from the beneficiaries over a certain period. Land planning has already been
completed and actual development is expected to start anytime soon.