MBADA Diamonds has partnered the Zimbabwe Farmers Union to equip families resettled at Arda Transau with farming skills and inputs as a way of making them self-sufficient, an official said yesterday.
As part of the deal, Mbada would secure inputs worth US$100 000 per year for the 100 resettled families while ZFU would train the farmers on sustainable farming methods.
Scores of families were resettled at Arda Transau Farm in 2010 to pave way for the miner to start operations at their former homes following the discovery of alluvial diamonds in the Marange area.
Mbada, Anjin, Marange Resources and Diamond Mining Company are some of the firms operating in the area.
Mbada corporate services executive George Manyaya told reporters that the main aim of the project is to ensure self-sustenance.
"The families have been relying on our food handouts so we expect to wean them once their productivity improves," he said.
"We do not want to continue handing payouts to the families, so this is a long- term solution that will empower the affected families," he said.
Manyaya said training of farmers started in December.
"ZFU agronomists are currently training the families in Mutare on the foundations of farming," he said.
A ZFU official confirmed the partnership, and said the union had deployed agronomists to train and guide the farmers.
The official said ZFU was also selling the agriculture training programs to other mining companies.
"ZFU is also in the process of selling the same concepts to other leading miners in the country such as Zimplats, Unki and Mimosa," said the official.