The establishment of the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) was preceded by the merger of three pre-independence era organizations namely: Sabi Limpopo Authority (SLA), Tribal Trust Land Development Corporation (TILCOR) and the Agricultural Development Authority (ADA). The merger was necessitated by the need to create a perpetual buffer between Zimbabweans and hunger through an institution that would guarantee food security in Zimbabwe and serve as a buffer between Zimbabwean citizens and hunger. ARDA is thus, empowered to advance its mandate which is focused on the realization of an agriculture-led economic growth and development.

The Authority is divided into two main categories, namely Commercial/Business Operations and Rural Development. Commercial Operations involve production of various crops and livestock at twenty one (21) ARDA Estates. The Estates operate as Strategic Business Units (SBU). This arrangement allows Estates to access loans individually on the strength on their respective Balance Sheets on guarantees /or other security from the Head Office and /or Shareholder.

Rural Development involves implementation of Agricultural Based Socio-Economic Programmes in rural set-ups to improve the livelihoods of Rural Communities through increasing both their Out-grower/Smallholder Irrigation Schemes yields/output and income generation opportunities.