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ARDA makes inroads in seizing opportunities presented by the growing AfCFTA

ARDA makes inroads in seizing opportunities presented by the growing AfCFTA

Story by Owen Mandovha, Business Reporter

THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) has positioned itself to be a key player in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) based on the country’s competitive edge in the transforming agriculture industry.

The African Continental Free Trade Area has gained overwhelming traction over the years since member countries ratified its operationalisation, hence focus has shifted to Zimbabwe’s readiness to be a competitive player in the US$2 trillion market.

ARDA chief executive officer, Mr Tino Mhiko confirmed that his organisation is set to utilise the country’s competitive edge in agriculture to easily penetrate regional markets.

“Africa has grain deficit and in Rwanda, we have made key progress to seek partnerships and work towards developing their agriculture industry riding on our sustainable business models, hence the last visit by their Minister of Agriculture impressed on them their intention to work with us towards developing their industry,” he said.

A member of the Advisory Council appointed by the AfCFTA Secretariat to spearhead private sector engagements towards effective participation, Mr Batanai Matsika says the agriculture sector is indeed a low-hanging fruit for local companies.

“As an Advisory Council, we see agriculture as a low-hanging fruit that companies need to exploit and flex their muscles in the AfCFTA because Zimbabwe has seen a tremendous recovery and growth of the agriculture sector over the last couple of years,” he explained.

The World Bank expects that the AfCFTA will increase Africa’s income by US$450 billion by 2030 and see a jump in intra-Africa trade by 81%, hence Zimbabwe is targeting to get its slice of the cake.

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