Byo residents appeal for more farming land

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BULAWAYO residents have appealed for more land to use for urban farming despite threats by the city council to slash all crops grown on undesignated land.

SAKHILE MOYO
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Following the onset of the rains last week, some residents in most urban areas have been busy cultivating undeveloped land they allocated themselves to grow crops in defiance of council by-laws.

According to the Bulawayo City Council’s Act 12/73 (Protection of Lands and Natural Resources) by-laws of 1984, cultivation of undesignated areas is prohibited and discouraged at all costs.

However, some Bulawayo residents who spoke to Southern Eye called on the city fathers to instead provide them with more farming land where they can cultivate without violating city by-laws.

“The rainy season has started, and we as residents call upon the city council to provide us with more land where our crops will not be slashed as the designated land available is not enough for everyone,” said a woman from Nketa 7 who was working in a field in Bellevue.

“The city council should give us more land to farm which can accommodate everyone who depends on farming as a source of livelihood.

Another resident from Nkulumane complained that the council’s threat to slash crops was inhumane as the local authority had not availed more designated farming land despite population growth.

“The farming season has started and the city council has not allocated any new designated land where we can plant our crops freely, so we will use the land that is not being utilised as urban farming gives us little income to help look after our families,” she said.

Council senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu was not available as she was said to be away attending a workshop.