The Rift Valley Agriculture Platform contributes to the green revolution in Africa by building premium, traceable supply chains from farmers to the end user. Through its operating companies, the Platform actively supports Africa’s small-scale farmers by providing agronomy advice, cash crop contracts, and logistics and supply chain management services. The Platform operates in Zimbabwe.
Northern Farming is a contract-farming company in Zimbabwe that provides inputs, working capital, agronomy and market linkage to selected large and small-scale farmers. Northern Farming is one of Zimbabwe’s largest suppliers of locally produced maize, soya beans and wheat. Since its inception in 2009, the company has expanded its hectarage under cultivation from 2,200ha to 12,800ha. Today, Northern Farming’s contractors produce in excess of 60,000 tonnes of crops.
Northern Farming has a holistic approach to sustainable agricultural production. It assists farmers with:
- purchase & distribution of inputs (fertiliser, seed, chemicals, fuel, etc);
- provision of loan finance for working capital at favourable interest rates;
- extension services (technical expertise, supervision, training);
- market linkages (storage, transport, commodity trading).
- Northern Farming develops best farming practices and works closely with organisations such as the FAO, CIMMYT, SNV and GIZ to promote conservation agriculture and small-scale mechanization. The company also promotes the adoption of new farming technologies such as mobile banking and weather-index insurance.
Northern Farming’s unique contract-grower model focuses on the commercialisation of small-scale farmers and the enhanced viability of larger farms is making a significant contribution to Zimbabwe’s agricultural production. The company is rapidly becoming the preferred service provider to the Zimbabwean agricultural industry.
Located in the beautiful hills of Chipinge in south-eastern Zimbabwe, Makandi’s three farms enjoy excellent growing conditions for its high-quality produce.
At present, Makandi produces:
- Macadamias – sold ‘in shell’ primarily to the Far East
- Avocados – exported to the EU via the Netherlands
- Coffee – servicing niche markets for primary coffee grades
- Maize – bagged for the local market
- Rhodes grass
A competent management team ensures top-quality products using modern, sustainable management practices. Makandi’s comprehensive diversification plan initiated in 2005 is now bearing fruit. Land under cultivation has grown to 405ha of macadamias, 75ha avocados, 260ha maize and 75ha coffee. Continued growth is planned for avocados, macadamias and maize.
Chipinge Bananas in Zimbabwe produces fresh bananas on 200 hectares. Customers include both informal vendor markets and major supermarket chains in Zimbabwe. In addition, parts of the crop is exported to Zambia. As a member of the Rift Valley Group, Chipinge Bananas enjoys the full advantage of group synergies. This includes a contract to sell the produce to Matanuska Marketing which provides comprehensive marketing support.
Located on Waterfall Farm near Chipinge in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, Chipinge Bananas is developing operating techniques to reduce labour usage and water consumption on an on-going basis. It is the single largest producer of bananas in Zimbabwe.