ZBC News Online

VP Mnangagwa tours ARDA Jotsholo

The Presidential Input Scheme will increase to US$154 million up from US$30 million last year as the government moves to promote production in the agricultural sector.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed this during the winter wheat assessment tour at ARDA Jotsholo Estate in Lupane today.

The Presidential Input Scheme will provide seeds, fertiliser and chemicals to communal farmers and the target is to ensure that the inputs are received by the intended recipients before the onset of the rainy season.

The initiative is expected to improve food security in the country.

During the winter assessment, the Vice President revealed his vision is to see the estate with a dryer, silos and milling equipment in order to process wheat, maize and soya.

“We need to see the processing of maize wheat and soya at this estate and it promotes development in the province. It also creates employment for and therefore boosts income for the local community. We have done this in Matabeleland South and we want to see the same here in Matabeleland North,” said Vice President Mnangagwa.

Agricultural Rural Development Authority board chairman, Mr Burzil Nyabadza said his organisation will continue to expand operations to increase capacity utilisation at the estate.

“We are now getting into the second phase of our expansion and now have five crops in our estate. We want to expand and we have the university here so we should take advantage of that to improve our skills,” he said.

ARDA Jotsholo Estate currently produces commercial and seed maize, commercial and seed wheat as well as potatoes on 400 hectares of land.

During the meeting it was also decided that the dam that supplies water to estate should be desilted.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mnangagwa also visited Mary Ellen Farm in Bubi district to carry out further assessments on the winter wheat production in that farm.