Manicaland in massive value addition drive

10 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Manicaland in massive value addition drive Agriculture activities across Manicaland have been the biggest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) earner for the province, with a total output of ZWL$8.42 billion

The ManicaPost

 

Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

AGRICULTURAL activities across Manicaland have been the biggest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) earner for the province, with a total output of ZWL$8.42 billion, a realisation that is now influencing Government’s renewed value addition drive for produce from all the seven districts.

Provincial GDP measures economic activity at provincial level to facilitate decision-making and policy evaluation.

Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) produces provincial GDP estimates annually.

In his presentation during the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) engagement which brought together Government and the private sector, comprising captains of industry, academia, local authorities and business executives in Manicaland at a local hotel yesterday (Thursday), ZimStat’s manager (national accounts department), Mr Grown Chirongwe, said: “The 2022 value added for agriculture at constant prices (wholesaling and retailing) was estimated at ZWL$4.33 billion and ZWL$4.09 billion, respectively.

“The value added for mining and manufacturing was estimated at ZWL$3.18 billion and ZWL$2.30 billion, respectively. Agriculture had the highest contribution (19.9 percent) to Manicaland Provincial GDP owing to vibrant forestry and horticultural activities (in Honde Valley, Nyanga, Chipinge and Chimanimani). Furthermore, the production of milk and fishing is also contributing much to the industry.

“Wholesale and retailing activities accounted for 18.8 percent of the provincial GDP. Activity is mainly concentrated in Mutare, Rusape and Chipinge towns.

“14.6 percent of the provincial GDP was generated from the mining industry. This was mainly driven by extraction activities in Chiadzwa (diamond), Penhalonga and Nyanga (gold) and Phosphate (dorowa).

“Manufacturing recorded 10.5 percent, with much of the activity being witnessed in the manufacturing of groceries (Mega Market), timber products (Border Timbers, Wattle Company and Allied Timbers as the main players), oxygen manufacturing (Verify Engineering) and Delta Beverages (Rusape and Mutare).”

In an interview on the sidelines of the NECF engagement, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Advocate Misheck Mugadza said: “Manicaland is a land of milk and honey, but that honey needs to be tapped and value added. You will discover that in every district, we have got what it takes to establish factories or plants that can add value to the farm produce.

“We are now geared to embark on an intensive value addition of all our agricultural produce in all the seven districts of Manicaland Province.

“Already, we have macadamia crushing equipment that is now operational in Chipinge, but we feel we need much more, given the high levels of macadamia production that is going on in Chipinge. In Chimanimani, we have Allied Timbers’ state-of-the-art timber milling plant, and we have been approached by other investors that want to put up other plants there.

“In Mutare, we have plants that are value adding baobab fruit. At Mutare Teachers’ College we have a plant that will soon be commissioned by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa that will produce Wasu Juice from the baobab fruit.

“We have the same lined up for Honde Valley where we have many fruits and vegetables that are being produced, and plans are underway that we have a plant that will carry out drying and processing of these products.

“The same applies for Nyanga where we have potatoes and apples. In Makoni, we have an investor who has approached us with the aim of having a tobacco processing plant. Instead of our farmers taking their produce to Harare, we are anticipating that soon they will be providing their produce to a local processing company.”

In a separate interview, NECF Steering Committee co-chairperson, Dr Mike Bimha, said: “Zimbabwe is known for its intellectuals, and it is high time we transform this intellect into tangible development.

“This is the gap that the NECF is geared to cover, and ensure that we develop as a nation, without any place and any person being left behind. This initiative is meant to allow provinces to take ownership in generating their own GDP.”

NECF’s acting executive secretary, Mr Muzi Muzite said: “The Manicaland NEFC Development Dialogue is the first of a series of similar engagements that will take place across the country. The aim is to let all stakeholders give input into the GDP of the province up to national level, and ensure that every citizen plays a part in the development discourse of the country.

“Ultimately, all the ideas will be factored into the national policy formulation, and that means whatever we get here and all other provinces will be factored into the National Development Strategy (NDS2), which is the next blueprint that the country will embark on as we journey towards Vision 2023, as espoused and instructed by our principal, President Mnangagwa.”

The Manicaland Provincial Development Dialogue programme was held under the theme: “Towards inclusive socio-economic transformation: Leaving no one and no place behind.”

The NECF is a public private dialogue convener established in July 1997 after lessons learnt during a trip to Malaysia by former President Mugabe where the delegation witnessed host Government, business, labour and civil society coming together to discuss issues of national importance in an unfettered environment.

Since its establishment, the NECF played a crucial role in policy formation.

 

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