Middle Sabi farmers in multimillion-dollar deal

Source: Middle Sabi farmers in multimillion-dollar deal | The Herald June 22, 2018

Luthando Mapepa Chipinge Correspondent
FARMERS in Middle Sabi will soon benefit from a multi-million-dollar deal they recently signed with some local investors, The Herald has learnt.

The agreement is between some A1 and A2 farmers and Agri-Alliance, a local organisation that supports farmers.

The deal comes as a direct result of consultations initiated when Manicaland Province held its investment conference where various players in the business sector, the manufacturing, farming and processing industries were invited.

Agri-Alliance director Mr Davie van Breda said his organisation was now firmly on the ground and would get the ball rolling by resuscitating some dilapidated irrigation infrastructure in Middle Sabi.

Mr van Breda said they had also brought in machinery to conduct extensive agricultural activities in the area.

“Our organisation is mainly targeting farmers who were failing to utilise their land due to capital challenges,” he said. “We hope to resuscitate irrigation infrastructure on over 6 000 hectares in Middle Sabi by March next year.

“At the moment we have brought in new machinery, which is being used in the resuscitation of dilapidated irrigation infrastructure. Work has begun and we are happy with the progress we are making with the farmers.”

Speaking during a tour of Middle Sabi last week, ARDA board chairperson Mr Basil Nyabadza said the deal between the farmers and investors would transform Middle Sabi into a green belt.

“This deal brokered between investors and Middle Sabi farmers is part of the successes registered under the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra,” he said. “Middle Sabi farms will not be the same again, as the deal will bring production to full capacity.

“Most of the farmers in the Middle Sabi have been idle for the past 10 years and under the agreement our target is to make sure that 75 percent of A1 and A2 farms, which were lying idle, are resuscitated.”

Middle Sabi Farmers’ Association chairperson, Mr Skumbuzo Thodhlana commended Agri-Alliance, saying the deal was going to transform agribusiness and production in the area.

“The deal is going to boost production for farmers who were struggling to buy inputs and repair irrigation equipment,” he said.