Mutoko farmers welcome fruit and vegetable processing hub

Staff Reporter

Farmers from Mutoko district and surrounding areas have welcomed the Tabudirira Fruit and Vegetable processing hub launched yesterday by President Emmerson Emmerson saying the project will go a long way in employment creation and reducing transport costs incurred travelling to the country’s popular Mbare musika in Harare.

Farmers who spoke to this publication during the event said the project will also create market linkage for their fruits and vegetables.

“We are really happy to have such a huge project in our community. We used to travel all the way to Mbare musika in Harare to sell our produce, risking thieves and huge transport costs. Now that the market is in our neighbourhood, we really appreciate,” said Mr Fidellis Kaitano.

Mbuya Fiona Chitate said, “We want to thank our Government through the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa for honouring our community. Our children and grandchildren will be employed here. The project will transform lives not only of the people from Mutoko, but also from surrounding areas.”

While launching the project, President Mnangagwa encouraged intellectual development in rural areas highlighting that the Second Republic introduced devolution funds to develop provinces adding that it is the responsibility of Zimbabwean citizens to build their own country.

The President said Government has also introduced innovation hubs in all universities and is financing them. “We have achieved hundreds of achievements with our young men and women developing new products,” he said.

Tabudirira Fruit and Vegetable hub is in line with vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle income economy, as anchored on the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1)

The project has established a company, Mutoko Royal Fruits and Veggies, jointly owned by the farmers who hold 60 percent shareholding and Government 40 percent. Of the Government shareholding, the local Vocational Training Centre holds 10 percent.

The 60 percent shareholding of youths and women private business corporation is held by three entities, Green Set Horticulture, Kubatana Tomato Production and Chituta Mari Horticulture and each has 20 percent shares.