DTZ cedes 80 000ha for Lowveld greenbelt 

Source: DTZ cedes 80 000ha for Lowveld greenbelt | The Herald

DTZ cedes 80 000ha for Lowveld greenbelt
Tokwe Mukosi

George Maponga in Masvingo
Plans by the Second Republic to develop a massive greenbelt in the Lowveld have received a shot in the arm after the Development Trust of Zimbabwe(DTZ) ceded 80 000 hectares at Nuanetsi Ranch in southern Masvingo, to the State, for the initiative.

DTZ owns the vast Nuanetsi Ranch which straddles over 300 000ha and stretches from Mwenezi into western parts of Chiredzi.

The landmark move by DTZ helps Government to fire the first shots in the development of a greenbelt in the Lowveld that will cover over 200 000ha with industrial and plantation crops together with cereals topping a list of crops that will be grown under irrigation.

The greenbelt is envisioned under the Lowveld integrated master plan that seeks to exploit all idle major dams across Masvingo.

Chiredzi district development coordinator Mr Lovemore Chisema says the cessation of land to the state by DTZ would go a long way in the speedy implementation of the planned greenbelt.

Mr Chisema says the 80 000ha coded by DTZ was already being pegged and replanned to make sure families already settled there benefited from the initiative.

Among the beneficiaries will be the over 3 000 families displaced from their ancestral land in Chivi to pave way for the construction of Lake Tugwi-Mukosi.

The lake is now Zimbabwe’s largest interior dam and is the main hinge of the proposed greenbelt in the Lowveld.

Sugar and citrus will top crops to be grown in the Lowvwld under irrigation while maize and wheat will also come in making Zimbabwe food secure in line with Vision 2030 enunciated by President Mnangagwa.

Produce from the greenbelt will be both for local consumption with the surplus being exported to earn hard currency while potholders will be roped in as out-growers.

Masvingo has the largest dak density in Zimbabwe which were all tailored to irrigate the Lowveld making the area idle for the planned greenbelt that will make southern Masvingo the country’s agricultural hub.