Government has paid over $35 million to about 650 white former commercial farmers whose land was repossessed under the Land Reform Programme.

Individual farmers are receiving $55 000 which is being drawn from the $53 million set aside in the 2019 National Budget.

A further $380 million was provided for the compensation in this year’s budget.

“Government agreed that instead of paying only a few of the roughly 3 500 former white commercial farmers, they could be provision for sharing the payment with many who were in distress,” said Mr Gilpin.

“The Interim Relief Programme was started in May 2019; applicants have been paid $55 000 for their claims and these amounts will be offset against full compensation when it is fully settled.

Considering the scale of payments required, Mr Gilpin said authorities should consider seeking international assistance.

“In view of the inflation in the country, the payment made thus far is a very small part of the total required to settle the full bill for compensation,” he said.

“The Government will most likely have to look at a number of options including international assistance to pay what is finally agreed:” Mr Gilpin said about 350 white farmers continued to operate mostly downsized portions of their farms.