Philemon Matibe, a Zimbabwean who returned home after living in the United States of America for 20 years, has turned three abandoned farms in Odzi into a greenbelt.
Matibe told NewsDay that he had invested almost half a million United States dollars in the three farms he is leasing since his return a year ago.
Matibe said produces crops such as tobacco and wheat and employs nearly 200 people at the peak of the farming season. He said:
I was in America for the past 20 years and as a family, we decided to come back. We looked around for derelict and underutilised farms.
We decided to go ahead and invest in the rehabilitation of these farms since I was convinced of the sincerity of the new dispensation.
When you do farming, you need to be hands-on. This is the reason why I spent most of my time monitoring what will be happening at the farms.
I invested almost half a million United States dollars in the farming projects. At the peak of the farming season, we employ almost 200 workers who are all on full salary.
Matibe said his main challenge is vandalism of irrigation equipment and he has deployed security team around the clock to protect the equipment.