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ADRA partners govt in horticulture production

Story by Grace Sibanda

THE Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has partnered with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Settlement in advancing horticulture activities in rural areas.

In the heart of uMguza district is a horticultural project run by ADRA employing up to 90 people.

The project is advancing rural industrialisation, a vision being pursued by the Second Republic and meant to benefit millions of Zimbabweans who live in rural areas.

Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) chief executive officer, Mr Tinotenda Mhiko said, “We were scoping opportunities to integrate ADRA into our already existing model of the Presidential Rural Development Programme where we are rolling out business units to youths and schools in rural areas across the country. There are potential areas of collaboration especially in aggregation centres which are already in existence. We look forward to capacitating rural farmers with sustainable, profitable, and viable models to advance export opportunities and value chain development.”

ADRA country director, Ms Judith Musosvi said the cold chain storage used in the farm will mitigate post-harvest losses and glut on the market.

“We work with horticulture farmers to help them with production up to market level stage. We have installed the cold storage chain to ensure that products are fresh and of good quality. The cold storage minimises losses after harvesting, mitigates against glut and encourages our farmers to look more into exporting their produce,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development, Professor Obert Jiri reinforced that rural development and industrialisation are key in the government’s thrust of attaining an upper-middle-income economy society by the year 2030.

“Rural development and industrialization are key in our country`s development. This is the thrust of government to ensure that every village has successful business production and marketing and funding are guaranteed. So, we are seeing that value chain development and growth in terms of our agriculture, and our vision is for every village to have an industry in itself where locals are major beneficiaries,” said Professor Jiri.

The government is targeting the transformation of rural economies by enhancing food security, increasing market share and creating jobs.

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