The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) has urged companies and individuals within the Great Dyke to refocus and consider the agricultural potential in the region.
Addressing delegates at the recently held Great Dyke Mining and Agriculture Investment Conference held in Gweru, CoMZ vice president Thomas Gono said huge ponds which were left idle in the Great Dyke can be utilised for agricultural purposes including irrigation.
“The geological processes produce fractures, these fractures are very good or favorable for the movement of water and the creation of water reservoirs.
“We have got very good examples around Mimosa along Zvishavane Bulawayo road, there are huge ponds there where we can actively use the water for irrigation purposes.
“Within this dyke, it’s just not about the metallic mineral endowment, we also have huge reservoirs of water at specific locations, especially those which are associated with fracturing within the particular dyke,” he said.
According to Gono, the water within the Great Dyke is available throughout the year hence people around the region should take advantage of that to improve their livelihoods through agriculture.
“So we need to focus not only on the mining aspect but also on the agricultural aspect because you can utilize it (water) for fish farming, ranching, irrigation and potentially producing a green belt in terms of agriculture.
“The water within the Great Dyke is available throughout the year, so let us put more emphasis on what we have been doing in mining but let us now refocus and consider the agriculture potential within the Great Dyke,” he added.
Speaking during the same event, Dr. Tonderai Kapesa of the Africa Economic Development Strategies (AEDS) said due to climate change which has affected the agricultural sector, there is scope for investment in animal husbandry and dairy sectors within the Great Dyke.
“Zimbabwe has not been spared from climate change, as a result, we are not producing optimally in terms of the agriculture sector. So there are vast opportunities in the development of irrigation infrastructure.
“We are looking at the establishment of more dairies in the central parts of the Great Dyke where we said the soils are suitable for agriculture, so we can also invest in improving productivity,” he said.
He added that in the tourism sector, there are several heritage sites across the Great Dyke mountain ranges which can be converted into tourism hubs for both domestic and international visitors.
The inaugural Great Dyke Mining and Agriculture Investment Conference saw the presentation of the AEDS Investment Report commissioned by YAFM. The report is an in depth study of the business opportunities mainly in mining and agriculture within the Great Dyke.