Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Land reform alleviating poverty: President

Land reform alleviating poverty: President

Thursday, 22 September 2011 02:00

From Morris Mkwate in New York
ZIMBABWE has moved closer to alleviating poverty in different parts of the 
country following the successful

implementation of the land reform programme, President Mugabe has  said.

Addressing delegates to the High-Level Meeting on Desertification, Land 
Degradation and Drought in the Context of Sustainable Development and 
Poverty Eradication at the United Nations headquarters here on Tuesday, 
President Mugabe said more than 213 000 households were resettled under the 
historic programme.
He said the land reform programme resolved “excessive land use pressures” 
that resulted in land degradation and desertification.
“I am happy my Government has managed to fully implement one of the 
prioritised areas on poverty alleviation  through the historic land reform 
programme, which has decongested the rural areas which were characterised by 
excessive land use pressures that caused land degradation and 
desertification,” he said.

“The historic programme was aimed at, among its goals, poverty alleviation, 
equitable distribution of land, income generation and environmental 
restoration of the decongested land. A total of 213 656 households were 
resettled on 14, 9 million hectares of land.”
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe 
Defence Forces, said Government was concerned by the impact of 
desertification, land degradation and droughts on socio-economic 

He said although authorities have not invested in mitigation strategies 
owing to several reasons, focus remained on combating these problems in 
order to eradicate poverty.
“. . . Drought, land degradation and desertification compromise the social, 
economic and environmental pillars of sustainable development. It is, 
therefore, important that we proclaim zero net land degradation and adopt 
effective land reclamation programmes. Let’s green our land for food 
production and adaptation to climate change.

“My Government has since put in place a National Action Plan for 
desertification control, land degradation, mitigation and adaptation. When 
formulating the National Action Plan, Zimbabwe prioritised areas of 
intervention including traditional energy sources, water resources 
management, public awareness and capacity-building, soil conservation and 
land tenure systems.
“. . . My Government is also implementing initiatives in the driest regions 
of the country through national programmes such as the ‘Million Tree’ 
campaign, in which five million trees were planted last year alone around 
the country in order to reduce erosion rates, to rehabilitate, reclaim and 
restore degraded land.”

The President added that Zimbabwe signed the United Nations Convention to 
Combat Desertification to monitor land degradation and was working with 
various stakeholders to combat desertification through different 
interventions such as aforestation and reforestation.

He said the country also participates in regional wildlife and natural 
resources conservation programmes. Among such initiatives are Transfrontier 
conservation with Mozambique and South Africa; Zambia andMozambique as well 
as Botswana and Namibia.
“Under the auspices of the African Union, environmental monitoring systems 
in individual countries, including Zimbabwe, are tracking changes in 
biodiversity due to uncontrolled fires and droughts.
“In the 1980s, my Government embarked on community based natural resources 
management programmes through a home-grown initiative called Community Area 
Management for Indigenous Resources, which has spread throughout the country 
and also copied in the Sadc region.

“The CAMPFIRE programme champions the sustainable utilisation of forest 
resources and wildlife instead of excessively relying on agriculture, 
particularly in marginal areas that are not viable for cultivation. Through 
hunting trophies, eco-tourism and sale of wildlife products in these areas, 
communities lead sustainable livelihoods in the face of desertification and 
high incidents of drought.”

Tuesday’s gathering, which drew heads of state and other key stakeholders, 
was among the high-level meetings that preceded today’s official opening of 
the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly.
The meetings sought to discuss critical issues affecting the world, among 
them food and nutrition as well as poverty alleviation. The interface on 
desertification, land degradation and drought ran concurrently with the 
High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, which was yesterday 
expected to formulate a global strategy on dealing with the diseases.

Zimbabwe is located in Sub-Saharan Africa where between 60 and 70 percent of 
the population lives in rural areas and primarily depends on agriculture. 
Seventy-eight percent of land degradation occurs in the region.


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