US firm targets Zim's agric sector

HARARE - An America-based company Got Produce Incorporated (Got Produce) is hoping to “revolutionise” African agriculture with its hydroponic and technology-driven greenhouses, executives say.

Backed by group founder Deborah Walliser and Zimbabweans such as Herbert Chadehumbe, the company is hoping to make a difference in the country’s horticultural sector through its climate-controlled vegetable facilities, which can be operated through smart phones and other devices.

“Got Produce’s… plans is to revolutionise vegetable growing in Zimbabwe by bringing sustainable and guaranteed output of top quality vegetables close to the customer…,” a company spokesperson said, adding the company was so ambitious that it was even working on “developing a plan for the deployment of hydroponic technology for use on Mars”.

As a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil, this technology results in a 90 percent reduction in water usage across green house farming communities, Got Produce says.

This is not only desirable when the continent is facing growing water shortages — as agriculture is the major consumer — but an estimated 1,8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water problems by 2025.

As such, Got Produce has already launched — through a franchise model — in countries such as Botswana.

Chadehumbe’s involvement and support for the United States company, meanwhile, is through a trust called Sustenvi which is geared towards empowering children and developing countries worldwide.

A Masters in Finance degree holder, Chadehumbe also hopes to impact on Zimbabwe’s diamond sector through SDKA International (SDKA), as the Dubai-based multinational has rapidly transformed into a significant conduit for Africa’s natural resources growth.

The former South African banker and financial sector executive is chief financial officer of SDKA.

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