WHEAT producing clusters in Arda Jotsholo of Matabeleland North Province have started benefiting from the Agricultural Equipment Leasing programme rolled out through Agribank for the 2020 wheat harvesting period.
Ian Brent le Roux, a farmer with 200 hectares of land under winter wheat at ARDA Jotsholo farm is one of the beneficiaries of the agricultural equipment leasing programme funded to the tune of 51 million United States dollars.
For him, the mechanization programme will improve agricultural productivity and ensure food security in the country.
“This farm mechanisation project shows the government is committed to food security. It will see us doing most of our farm activities timeously,” said le Roux.
ARDA Farm Estate Manager, Adrian Hung believes the provision of farm equipment will also play a key role in ensuring food security.
“Before the introduction of this project we were faced with several challenges. We would have a lot of backlogs. Now that we have government’s backing through farm equipment, we will play a leading role in restoring the country’s status of being the breadbasket of Africa,” said Hung.
Executive Director of Agriculture Development and Retail Banking, Francis Macheka added his voice saying the project has capacitated both small and large-scale farmers who under normal circumstances could not afford farm machinery.
This project is revolutionary for our agricultural sector. Receiving land is not productive, for you to be productive on land you need to have machinery, and many people were failing to grow crops like wheat where harvesting by hand is next to impossible. What this programme has done has capacitated farmers to be able to grow a crop without owning machinery,” said Macheka.
The implementation of the farm mechanisation project shows the government’s commitment to boost agricultural productivity in line with vision 2030 of an upper-middle-income economy.