By Kudakwashe Mhundwa
The Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (Arda) intends to set up an export procurement hub for horticultural crops at its Muzarabani estate to increase out grower participation in the Mashonaland Central Province. Crops earmarked for the programme include ginger, garlic, tomatoes, guavas and mangoes.
“These are crops we believe villagers must grow. ARDA Muzarabani will become the centre for procurement of such crops for onward marketing to other regional and international destinations.
“ARDA will launch its out-grower programme”, Arda chairman Mr Basil Nyabadza said in an interview.
Arda has already engaged Zimtrade and is also in the process of setting up an export division dedicated from marketing farm produce from rural areas.
“We are consulting, but we as Arda are (also) doing it through our own structures to see rural development (fitting) into the national programmes,” he said
Arda has been making strides to boost agricultural output in several provinces through partnering major players in the agro-processing value chain.
These include its partnership with Schweppes Zimbabwe in the production and processing of various citrus fruits and vegetables in.
Arda is planning to small scale farmers at its Arda-Mushumbi estate for the production of chilies, moringa and stevia production.