Kudakwashe Mhundwa Business Reporter
The Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) has revived operations on all its 21 estates countrywide, as Government’s public private partnership framework implemented by the parastatal begins to bear fruit, ARDA Board Chairman Basil Nyabadza has revealed.
ARDA has estates in all the country`s ten provinces which cover plantations, cereals, livestock, wild life, horticulture and small grains.
Speaking during a tour of ARDA’s Muzarabani estates in Mashonaland central on Monday, Mr Nyabadza said while the estates are already operational the parastatal is looking at inviting additional capital to expand livestock and cereal production.
“We have revived operations on all 21 of our estate countrywide. ARDA estates cover plantations, cereals, Livestock, wild life, horticulture and small grains and seeds under ARDA seeds.
“ARDA deployed the public private partnerships scheme and we embraced that business model. We managed to locate investors from domestic, regional and global positions.
“This time, under phase two, is to expand activities. In other words, inviting additional capital under a PPP business model to expand livestock, plantations and cereal production.
“But we are saying lets value add. We have started with ARDA Antelope in Matopo district Matebeleland South to say let’s grow maize and process that maize on site and send mealie-meal to Bulawayo,” said Mr Nyabadza.
According to Mr Nyabadza, the authority will start its Matopo milling project in the second half of the year as major works on the project have already been completed.
“In terms of the Matopo milling project, the structure of the building is up, the actual mill is up. We were waiting for the connectivity of electricity. I believe its underway now so certainly I believe that possibly in July, August we should open the mill for processing and we are also looking at opening a mill in each province in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr Nyabadza also highlighted that the authority`s Chisumbanje estate is performing well above board with the estate managing to produce about 20 percent of ethanol being used in the country.
“Chisumbanje estate is responsible for production and processing of petrol on sight, even Zimra is on site so at least for 7 months in this country we produce 20 percent of ethanol from Chisumbanje.
In terms of output the estates in 2017 ripped 20 ha of potatoes, 30 ha of cherry paper, 25 ha tomatoes, 75 ha of soya beans, and 26 ha of maize.