Thupeyo Muleya – The Herald Reporter

Beitbridge Bureau

Devolution is being pushed hard to link economic and sustainable development from community to national level for the attainment of Vision 2030, Minister Responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Joram Gumbo said last week.

Touring an amacimbi (madora) processing plant in the Matshiloni area of Beitbridge last Friday, he said devolution demanded that provincial authorities be empowered to spearhead economic and social development in their jurisdictions by leveraging local resources.

“In this regard, my office will work closely with the provinces to ensure that provincial flagship projects are successfully implemented through the Rapid Results Initiative,” he said.

“The Government has also adopted the 100-day target-based programme to expedite project implementation and to address anomalies associated with project implementation.”

Government believes the revival of the country’s economic fortunes require everyone’s support, including those in the private sector.

Past implementation of most Government projects was hindered by various sector performance deficiencies, hence the need for a phased work programme.

“The adoption of the 100-day target-based programme symbolises the Government’s commitment to expeditiously implement projects for the benefit of citizens,” said Dr Gumbo. “My previous visits to different projects under the programme bear testimony that the Rapid Results Approach is yielding positive results and is contributing to the improvement of the livelihoods of our people.”

Dr Gumbo commended the Rovhona Raita Cooperative in Beitbridge, which initiated the setting up of the amacimbi and multi-purpose processing plant.

The project was in sync with the devolution concept, which promotes the economic growth of local economies driven by resources within the communities.

“Zimbabwe has the potential to earn significant revenue from the export of mopane worms (madora) to Europe, Japan, and other countries in the region where they are highly sought after,” said Dr Gumbo.

“These (madora) are rich in various nutrients, according to food experts, and these are areas therefore where we have a comparative advantage, but we are not making use of it.”

It was critical for Government to avail resources for the construction of the requisite infrastructure to promote the growth of small to medium enterprises nationwide.

Dr Gumbo said the processing of madora and horticulture produce was in line with the thrust of the Government to promote value addition and beneficiation.

The plant will not only boost employment, but reduce post-harvest losses, transport costs, provide proper grading infrastructure and address the problem of depressed prices, especially among small-scale traders.

“The plant will also play a critical role in addressing hygiene issues associated with the processing of the amacimbi and thereby empowering local traders to be competitive,” said Dr Gumbo.

“At the same time, we are concerned with the cases of deforestation where some people cut down trees to harvest amacimbi. This is unacceptable. We need to review the harvesting methodologies and also create mopani tree nurseries to replenish the natural resources.”