by Agriculture Reporter
The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka has today announced that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed new boards for the Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA) and the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco).
The Minister said the appointments are with effect from 12 November 2020.
Mr Irvin Craig is now the new chairperson for ARDA and he will be deputized by Lance Jena. Other members of the ARDA Board include, Dr Darlington Muzeza, Brian Henry Oldrieve, Thembinkosi Magwaliba, Philomina Mandaza, Willard Mboma and Dr Conrad Zuze.
Minister Masuka said the new ARDA Board should play a key role towards the achievement of Vision 2030. He further said the new Board has an urgent task of transforming ARDA so that the entire 88 000 hectares, potential arable land in the country will be fully utilized within the next three years.
Minister Masuka said ARDA should adopt best farming practices with a view to increase production and productivity on all its Estates. He added that ARDA should be a vehicle for national food, feed and fibre security producing at least 500 000 metric tonnes of cereals and 50 000 metric tonnes of fibre annually.
On the Cottco Board, Minister Masuka said President Mnangagwa has appointed Mr Sifelani Jabangwe as the new Board chairperson, deputized by Onai Muvingi.
Other members of the Cottco Board are Cynthia Tapera, Dr Ezekia Svotwa, Dr Mildred Mushunje, Mavis Marongwe, Pious Manamike and Medlinah Magwenzi.
Minister Masuka said the new Board should transform Cottco into a vibrant, viable and commercial entity within the next 12 months.
The Minister said besides improving operational efficiency of Cottco, the new Board should also improve the viability of farmers through capacitation programmes for climate-proofed cotton production and the adoption of best management practices, including new varieties.
Minister Masuka added that the new Board should thrive to grow the cotton industry from the current 85 000 metric tonnes of cotton to 300 000 metric tonnes annually starting from 2021/2022 season and should sustain this level of productivity.
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Youth Desk Coordinator, Mr Nickros Kajengo said as young farmers they have embraced the new appointments with joy and ululation.
Kajengo said the appointments came at the right time considering that Government was working towards the achievement of President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030.
Kajengo went on to say that he had faith in Mr Craig and other technocrats in the two boards and was convinced that they will steer the agricultural sector to dizzy heights, adding that as youths they were ready to work with the new teams.
Both ARDA and Cottco Boards are expected to work towards the fulfillment of President Mnangagwa’s vision of transforming the country to an Upper Middle Income economy by 2030.