President Mnangagwa commissions fruit, vegetables processing plant in Mutoko
Mutoko(New Ziana) -President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday commissioned a fruit and vegetable processing plant in Mutoko, Mashonaland Central province, about 143 kilometers northeast of the capital.
The Tabudirira Fruit and Vegetable Processing Hub is a project which is aimed at empowering youths and promoting value addition.
A company, Mutoko Royal Fruits and Veggies jointly owned by local farmers, holds 60 percent shareholding in the project, and the government 40 percent.
Of the 40 percent government shareholding, the local vocational training centre holds 10 percent.
The 60 percent shareholding of youth and women farmer groups is held by three entities, namely Green Set Horticulture, Kubatana Tomato Production and Chiruka Mari Horticulture each with 20 percent.
Officially opening the plant, President Mnangagwa said his government was committed to bringing development to rural communities as evidenced by implementation of the devolution agenda.
“Despite 20 years of sanctions lobbied for by the opposition, we will use our land and resources of the people to build Zimbabwe,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also urged chiefs to assist empower people in their communities while assuring the youth that his government would continue to support and fund projects which would have been introduced in communities.
“We want to change the mindset of our younger generation. The future is in the hands of the young generation,” he said.
President Mnangagwa however raised concern over reports that some Agritex officers were segregating some people in the popular Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme- a conservation farming method-in which the government provides free agricultural inputs.
“That practice should cease forthwith, the programme is for all people,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the African Development Bank(AFDB), International Labour Organization(ILO) and The Youth Bank for funding the initiative, which is meant to empower the youth.
The main objective of the vegetable plant includes among others to facilitate access to markets and reduce post-harvest loses.
The hub is expected to also produce capacity building services to horticulture farmers to enhance their productivity as well as value addition of tomatoes to produce tomato paste.