The Sunday Mail
Investors continue lining up to get a share of the action in Zimbabwe, raising hopes of speedy economic recovery after almost two decades of depressed FDIs.
The Sunday Mail understands that Canadians, Swis, Britons, Russians and Italians could soon inject at least US$55 million in agriculture.
The investments through the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority are meant to stimulate livestock, cereals, plantations and horticulture.
Zimbabwe has over the past three months witnessed increased business interests in the wake of the new political administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Recently, the country took delivery of locomotives and wagons to revive the National Railways of Zimbabwe as part of a US$400 million investment from Diasporan Zimbabweans.
The machinery came barely a week after Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote, revived his multi-million dollar plan to expand investments in Zimbabwe.
His visit coincided with that of Russian billionaire Mr Dmitry Mazepin who is interested in fertiliser manufacturing and mining.
In an interview last week, Arda chair Mr Basil Nyabadza said the authority was finalising a US$55 million deal with investors.
He said the authority had received about US$167 million through public-private partnerships in the past two years, boosting maize production which is projected at 75 000 tonnes this year compared to 42 000 in 2017.
“We are close to sealing a multi-million dollar investment deal with Switzerland, Canada, the United Kingdom, Russia and Italy,” said Mr Nyabadza.
“So far we have secured investors for livestock, plantations, cereals and we are finalising investment in horticulture with a minimum of US$55 million investment form the Americans and Europeans set to be finalised early March.
“We received some Canadian investors who were inquiring about possibilities of investment in agriculture and they were talking of high value products for exports.”
Arda adopted a public-private partnership approach in 2015.
This has seen Fair Acre Estate being fully mechanised with state-of-the-art equipment, including centre pivots for irrigation, while agriculture production has been boosted at Arda’s Nijo Estate. Arda was established in 1981 to plan, co-ordinate, implement, promote and assist Zimbabwe’s agricultural development.