By John Nhandara
MORE than 250 000 land seekers on the waiting list are set to benefit from an agricultural investment special purpose vehicle, the Vision Incubator and Accelerator Model (VIAM) that has been launched.
The model, which was launched by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka this Monday, will enable and encourage land seekers to invest into land and be given shares without owning the land.
“We are using land as a vehicle for economic development. We have 260 000 people on the waiting list and 10 000 people in the diaspora who have applied for land. We are unable to accommodate every applicant through the traditional and conventional manner like we have done in the past. We have therefore created the ARDA VIAM where land seekers will invest and be given shares and those on the waiting list. It is a vehicle for empowerment and investment in the sector,” he said.
While providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of land, creating value addition and beneficiation, VIAM will also accelerate rural industrialisation and development.
“It is a game changer and a revolutionary model hinged on the notion that one doesn’t need to own land to be a successful farmer. It is a de-risking model for land development. It removes reliance on individual farmers for food security and encourages rural industrialisation,” said ARDA CEO, Tinotenda Mhiko.
ARDA Board Chairperson, Mr Ivan Craig said, “It is a vehicle which is made for people who wish to become farmers ARDA will make sure the land is managed profitably so that investors will get their dividends at the end of season.”
Government has also indicated that it has distributed over 14 million hectares of land to over 380 0000 families since the beginning of the land reform programme in 2000.