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Sunday, July 14, 2024
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ARDA establishes village, school and business units

Story by John Nhandara

THE Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) is accelerating its irrigation development and market gardening projects to promote financial inclusion and ensure national food security.

In line with the government’s rural industrialisation agenda, ARDA is set to establish 35 000 village business units, 9 600 school business units and 450 irrigation schemes across the country.

ARDA chief executive officer, Mr Tinotenda Mhiko told the ZBC News, “Under the Presidential Rural Development Programme, we are now registering the village horticulture gardens as village business units across the 35 000 villages. The 450 irrigation schemes in the country are being registered as irrigation business units. We have also been mandated to register school business units in a whole of government approach, working with our parent ministry and other government agencies.

“This is driving financial inclusion and creating employment for the youths, and it dovetails with the government’s provincial devolution agenda with regards to increasing provincial GDPs.”

The ZBC News visited schools such as Nharira Primary School in Mbare and Kwayedza High School in Highfield, Harare, where the projects are already in motion.

The schools have already cultivated crops such as cabbages and tomatoes with drip irrigation.

Schools such as Nyahuni Adventist Mission in Harare have also embraced the government’s programme, with the production of horticultural produce now in full swing.

The project being implemented by other partners such as the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, is anchored on the Agriculture 8.0 model aimed at transforming communities through the establishment of profitable, viable and sustainable village, youth and school business units.

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