Arda secures investor for Balu Estate

Arda secures investor for Balu Estate
Published: 02 May 2018
THE Agricultural Rural Development Authority (Arda) has secured an investor for a pecan nuts and livestock project to be established at Arda Balu Estate in Umguza District, an official has said.

In an interview during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo last week, Arda Chief Executive Officer, Mr Willard Mbona, said they had identified Kalimba Investments as the partner for Balu Estate and had chosen pecan nuts as they had great export potential.

"Why pecan nuts? This is an export crop. Most of our white counterparts have been growing pecan nuts in Fort Rixon, Marondera, Goromonzi and in many other areas," said Mr Mbona.

"They have been exporting the crop and have been earning export earnings without our knowledge.

"We see that the country badly needs foreign currency and its one of the areas as Arda that we must go into. So we looked for partners and we have found one, the partner is called Kalimba investments," he said.

Mr Mbona said pecan nuts growth was favourable at the 4 500 hectare estate.

Arda is spearheading the growing of the crop in the region given its favourable weather conditions and export potential.

"What we have done is look for partners who are interested in investing in that Estate.

"They must remember that historically Balu has been a dairy estate, a livestock estate and this time we are looking at introducing plantations and the reason being that the dam at Balu is a huge reservoir and there is also lots of water so pecan nuts have been one of our key investment crops," said Mr Mbona.

He said they would also focus on feedlots for their livestock project.

"In addition to doing pecan nuts, we are going to do feedlots in the form of livestock and we will be creating what we call a Centre of Excellency for the communities that are around the area so that the farmers around Balu and the communities benefit from both the pecan nut project and the livestock project.

We are also going to do some cropping big time, either as feedlots for the cattle or as feeder crops for the cattle," Mr Mbona said.

He said for the pecan nut project, they were opening up land on the first 200 hectares.

Mr Mbona said Arda Estates countrywide were operating at 95 percent capacity.

"There are only two Estates left, Kairezi and Katiyo but we have found investors. We are tying up the deals at the end of the month," he said.

Mr Mbona said Arda was one of the pioneers and the biggest farmers under Command Agriculture and was expecting an average of 12 to 13 tonnes of maize from Arda Antelope in Maphisa. 
- zimpapers
Tags: Arda,


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