Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda)

Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) is a farming parastatal in Zimbabwe under the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

It has a substantial land holding across the country, including 21 estates of varying sizes, with a total of 98,000 ha of arable land, 19,000 ha of which is irrigable.[1]

In the last few years, as part of a reform programme focused on parastatals, the government has encouraged ARDA to go into public-private partnerships with private companies in an attempt to revive their fortunes, seeking new finance and investment from the private sector. 40 companies bid for such partnerships in 2014, involving a mix of local and foreign capital.[1]

Currently there are 12 estates with such joint ventures: Chisumbanje, Middle Sabi, Katiyo, Mkwasine, Sisi, Nandi, Faire Acres, Jotsholo, Antelope, Ngwezi, Sedgewik and Doreen’s Pride. Those that remain wholly managed by Government include; Balu, Sanyati, Muzarabani, Mushumbi Pools, Nijo, Katiyo Main Estate, Rusitu, Magudu and Kairezi.[1]

The most (in)famous is the Chisumbanje estate, where tycoon Billy Rautenbach took over operations, and built a mill for processing sugar cane. Land disputes and controversies over ethanol pricing and markets have plagued the operation for some years.[1]

Arda Private Public Partnership Projects

Estate Farming Activities Partnership Model Private sector partner Year of establishment
1. Chisumbanje · Sugarcane Production Joint Venture Green Fuel (Pvt) Ltd and Macdom Investments (Pvt) Ltd BOT in 2009 but converted to JV in 2013
· Ethanol Production
2. Middle Sabi · Sugarcane Production 20- Year Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) Rating Investments (Pvt) Ltd 2009
3. Umguza Plots – 45ha · Horticulture, Maize and Wheat 10-year Rehabilitate Operate and Transfer (ROT) Arrangements Obert Mpofu 2009
4. Katiyo (193ha Rumbizi & Chiwira Sections) · Green Leaf Tea Production 12-Year Management Contract Eastern Highlands Plantations Limited 2010
5. Mkwasine · Game/Safari Hunting 5- Year Management Contract Zambezi Hunters (Pvt) Ltd 2010
6. Nandi · Sugarcane Production 5- Year Management Contract Arrangement Mangwa Quip (Pvt) Ltd 2014
7. Fair Acres · Soyabeans (summer) and wheat (winter) 5-Year share Farming Arrangement Northern Farming (Pvt) Ltd 2014
8. Jotsholo · Cotton Seed Production 1-Year Renewable Contract Farming Arrangement Chinarda (Pvt) Ltd 2014
9. Antelope · Maize (summer) wheat (winter) 5- Year Management Contract Trek Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd 2015
10. Ngwezi · Maize (summer) wheat (winter) 5-Year share Farming Arrangement Trek Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd 2015
11. Sedgewick · Livestock Rearing 5-Year Grazing Contract Madzimbabwe Asphalt 2015
12. Doreen’s Pride · Livestock Rearing, Maize and wheat 10-Year Contract Farming Arrangement Trek Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd 2015

Further Reading

See Gushungo Dairy.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Can joint ventures revive large-scale commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe?, Zimbabwe Land, Published:31 Oct, Retrieved: 20 Nov 2016