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Monday, May 27, 2024

Farmers commend ARDA agriculture support

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA)’s joint venture meant to boost food security is poised to generate rewards in Mashonaland Central after contracting more than 1 500 farmers with irrigation facilities.

The ARDA joint venture programme has garnered positive momentum with farmers planting 10 307 hectares of maize across Mashonaland Central province, in addition to 3 993 of sorghum in drier regions.

Mr Vitalis Kereke, who has cultivated 21 hectares of maize in Mvurwi summed up how crucial support from ARDA has turned things around through the provision of inputs.

“The crop you see here is commercial maize, we benefitted from the ARDA program. We got seed, basal fertiliser, top dressing and chemicals. On our own we provided diesel, working capital and equipment for tillage to establish our crop. It’s a good relationship and if it carries like this we will go forward I think you can see the crop is looking good and nothing will prevent our harvest,” he said.

ARDA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tinotenda Mhiko expressed optimism of a bountiful harvest despite the lean rainfall season.

“The Arda joint venture is a noble intervention being implemented and rolled out in a whole of sector approach as response to the vagaries occasioned by the predicted and ensuing el-nino phenomenon. The rainfall season of course started late and of course the season started late, but however the maize crop that was established is irrigated and the sorghum crop which is the dry land crop is fairly good because we established it in the higher potential areas where it would ordinarily do well despite receiving low to below average and we are expecting a bumper harvest despite the late and reduced short and sharp season,” said Mhiko.

Meanwhile, ARDA Muzarabani Estate has gone through revitalisation through installation of four new centre pivots covering 90 hectares.

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