Vast tracts of rich irrigable land bordering one of the largest water bodies in Mashonaland West, Mazvikadei dam, has been lying idle for years despite huge investments towards developing the estate’s irrigation infrastructure.
Ayshire Estate has over 1500 hectares of land covered under an irrigation infrastructure which has been left in a state of abandon as those allocated the land have neglected the system.
Ironically the estate borders a perennial water source Mazvikadei dam, which instead has become more famed for recreation through boating.
A flour milling plant and a bakery in Banket which were once dependent on wheat from the estate and other surrounding farms had to be closed in 2013 as a result of failure to get adequate supplies of the commodity.
Resultantly 120 employees who were once engaged by the firm which traded as rice milling company were also off laid.
Managing director of the firm, Mr Roy Linfield is however upbeat the plant’s machines could soon start running once current efforts to start wheat production at the estate come to fruition.
Government has meanwhile emphasized the new thrust to increase output on farms and promised to deal with threats to agriculture production such as illegal settlements, land ownership and boundary disputes.
Mashonaland West Minister of State Cde Webster Shamu said such challenges are rife in the province and action has to be taken.
In the case of Ayshire Estate, land ownership disputes have been at the centre, derailing optimal utilisation of the land but gladly a process to address the contentious issue has been activated.