Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Arda herd decimated

Arda herd decimated

Thursday, 24 May 2012 12:10

Paidamoyo Muzulu

THE Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (Arda) decimated its beef 
herd  from an all time high of 36 000 head in 1998 to a paltry 1 062 in 2012 
through forced sales to newly resettled A2 farmers when some of its ranches 
were parcelled out under the land reform programme, parliament has heard.

Arda acting general manager William Mbona revealed the sorry state of the 
ailing authority’s herd when he appeared before the portfolio committee on 
Agriculture on Tuesday.

“We sold most of the 36 000 cattle on our farms after some of the estates 
were allocated to new farmers,” said Mbona. “Transau Estates, one of our 
biggest ranches, was used for resettlement of people from Marange diamond 

Of the 36 000 cattle, Sesembe had 16 000, Transau 12 000 and Battlefields 6 
000. The rest were scattered across other estates countrywide. Mbona added 
that revenue realised was insignificant in monetary value since this forced 
destocking was carried out during the hyperinflationary Zimbabwe dollar era.

“We did not get a lot of money from either the private and auction sales of 
the cattle during (the) destocking exercise since we sold in the valueless 
Zimdollars at the height of hyperinflation,” he said.

Arda has been in the spotlight for its involvement in the controversial 
Green Fuels project in partnership with Billy Rautenbach in Chisumbanje, as 
well as the suspected looting of tractors from Iran by senior officials.

The audit into the tractors is still to be made public six years since it 
was instituted. Mbona told the committee that the authority could only be 
saved by creating partnerships with other companies to work on its vast 

“The way forward for Arda is smart partnerships, joint ventures and contract 
management with private investors. This is the only way if the shareholder 
(government) cannot recapitalise the authority,” Mbona said.

Arda is one of the 78 struggling state-owned enterprises which, among 
others, include Air Zimbabwe, NetOne, TelOne, the Cold Storage Company, 
Agribank and the National Railways of Zimbabwe.


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