Plantations have over the past few years been mainly associated with commercial or large scale farmers who have the technical expertise and capital to undertake production of cash crop for export markets.

The Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) has started rebuilding plantations across the country in line with the government’s devolution strategy aimed at economically developing the nation.

ARDA’s establishment of plantations in provinces comes at a time the government is forging ahead with the devolution strategy that seeks to decentralise power and authority including fiscal, investment and economic responsibilities to each of the country’s 10 provinces.

Focus is therefore on key projects that include avocado, macadamia nuts, oranges, lemons, coffee, tea, sugar cane and forestry, among others.

“We are doing our best to save the economy from funds arising  from the huge import bill and we hope the plantations will also play an important role in that aspect and facilitate economic growth in the near future,” ARDA Chairman, Mr Basil Nyabadza said.

It is also being anticipated that the rebuilding of plantation projects will in the long term revive exports and save the country more funds from the current huge import bill.