$262m for Marondera agro-industrial park

Source: $262m for Marondera agro-industrial park | The Herald

$262m for Marondera agro-industrial park
Professor Justice Nyamangara

Victor Maphosa Mashonaland East Bureau

The establishment of the agro-industrial park of Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies (MUAST) is advanced after the University received $262 million from Government towards equipping the innovation and agro-industrial park with state-of-the-art irrigation infrastructure and equipment.

MUAST is the only fully fledged agricultural university in Zimbabwe andplans to commission its agro-industrial park this year. .

Being an agricultural university, MUAST’s faculty structure reflects its needs: Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship, and Earth and Environmental Sciences. They offer degrees that are aligned to fulfil the requirements of Education 5.0.

The agro-industrial park is a product of the Government’s new strategic policy which mandates universities and other tertiary institutions to be drivers of innovation and industrialisation for the provision of goods and services to the economy.

It covers 1020ha with 400 hectares being arable and of that 300ha cleared for cropping.

The primary mandate of the MUAST Agro-Industrial Park is to spearhead agricultural practices that constitute the entire value chain of livestock and crops to embrace the Education 5.0 model.

As such, the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology is housed at the park.

The park will be used as a teaching laboratory for students where they will be exposed to highly mechanised and precision farming and this will ensure that on graduation they will be highly competent in crop and livestock production.

“We are about 70 percent complete in terms of its establishment and we are planning to start off in winter through winter wheat programme, we will start with 140 ha wheat and 20 ha under horticulture,” MUAST Founding Vice Chancellor Professor Justice Nyamangara said while describing the park.

The irrigation facilities comprise of 6 centre pivots with a total capacity to irrigate 260 hectares.

Already, MUAST is one of the beneficiaries of the Muchekeranwa Dam and has already started constructing a 2,1km main water supply line from the recently commissioned dam to a reservoir in the park.

The farm recently took delivery of two brand new tractors, 1500L fertilizer spreader, 2000L 18m boom sprayer, five heavy duty generators and an 8 row monosem planter, all financed by the Government.

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