THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) is seeking 25,000 hectares of irrigable land under the first phase of its graduation programme aimed at boosting national food security.
In a statement, Arda said the graduation programme would engage at least 250 graduands from tertiary institutions for attachments under active supervision.
The programme is underpinned by the 10-Point Plan for Economic Growth announced by President Mugabe in August last year.
“Arda invites all Zimbabweans with irrigable land, who find themselves with limited resources to extract value from the land, to join Arda under the graduation programme to be part of enhanced production of both crops and livestock,” said the authority.
It is believed that the farmer will partner Arda under a sound business model that would guarantee a win-win situation.
“We require, under the first phase, at least 25,000ha of irrigable land starting with the 2016 winter cropping season,” it said.
Arda targets to venture into maize, wheat, soya beans and livestock production.
“The entire graduation programme is being implemented under a market-led production model.
“The graduation programme is intended to empower our farmers, and respond positively to the reality of climate change.
“We believe, within five years, every farmer would have graduated in terms of skills retention under a profitable business model.”
In the past three years, the authority entered into a joint venture business model with strategic domestic investors.
The agreement will also see Arda and its partners buying back all the farm produce for value addition under a tolling business model.