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    Saturday, 7 May 2016

    Govt to turn Chiredzi, Mwenezi into greenbelt


    – The Government is determined to turn Chiredzi and Mwenezi into greenbelts and hence the breadbasket of Masvingo province in-terms of food security.
    This is because the two districts have a lot of flat land and large water bodies.
    Speaking during the tour of Arda Nandi in Chiredzi last Friday, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Government is working towards achieving a status in which Chiredzi and Mwenezi will become the greenbelts of the region. Existing water bodies would be used for food production throughout winter and summer.
    Mnangagwa hailed Arda for entering into partnerships with private companies saying that will help Government's policy aimed at improving the agricultural sector. He said there is need to warm up to foreign investors since they will not export infrastructural developments that they make.
    "Climate change and droughts have given us a rethink. We have realised that we can only restore our status we have to be serious with irrigation. The two lowveld districts of Mwenezi and Chiredzi could become perennial greenbelts if available water is used for irrigation. The advantages of these regions is that they have flat land and dams which supply them with water. Our target is for the regions to be fully utilised, we will make sure that all water bodies are used and those near the water bodies who do not want to irrigate, we will move them.
    "We sourced irrigation equipment from Brazil and Belarus which will be given to farmers to achieve that status. The partnerships between Arda and private companies are helping in resuscitating Arda which was struggling as well as the country`s agriculture status," said Mnangagwa.
    Nandi Estates had been lying idle for years after Arda failed to undertake operations but fortunes have since changed after Arda entered into a partnership with a Chiredzi based company Mangwa Quip. So far 150 hectares are under sugarcane on the 634 hectare farm only after a year. Mangwa Quip Director Denford Masiya said his company entered into a 5 year crop contract and they aim to increase hectarage as they go.local news

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