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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Rural horticulture scheme transforms Mangwe

Story by Providence Maraneli

THE Second Republic’s rural industrialisation drive is getting buy-in from the Diaspora community after a South Africa-based Zimbabwean from Mangwe district in Matabeleland South province replicated the Presidential Horticulture Scheme concept at his rural home, creating employment for more than 50 people.

As one approaches Mr Sobala Ncube’s homestead in Bango village of Mangwe District, one will be forgiven to think that these are Mbare Musika-bound horticultural products as scotch carts and trucks come in numbers to place orders.

The project was inspired by the Jinjika Presidential Horticulture Scheme launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2021 in Makorokoro.

Mr Ncube decided to replicate it at his homestead on the peripheries of Mangwe district, creating employment for youths.

The projects have transformed the lives of many including Mr Sobonangaye Mabhena, who has been working at the scheme for three months.

Mr Mabhena said, ‘‘I have bought goats and my child is going to school. I have changed, I used to spend my time loitering at the shops doing nothing, but thanks to this project, I am here.’’

A tomato picker noted, ‘‘You know how it is with spending time at shops, you will be involved in dangerous activities, but these days I am here and I am earning something. It is the same thing that is being done by our brothers in South Africa, but now we do it here and you don’t pay rent.’’

The community is excited about the Presidential Rural Horticulture Scheme which has set the district on the rural industrialisation course.

Another tomato picker said, ‘‘We come here as casual labour to help our own son who has set up this project that has transformed our usually dry community.’’

“I am so excited, imagine our children go to South Africa to look for employment and sometimes things go bad for them, but when they work closer like this it gives us peace,” another commented.

The Horticultural project has also created employment for more than 50 villagers.

Simukwe Valley owner Mr Sobala Ncube said, ‘‘I am more motivated by the concept that we are the masters of our destiny as enunciated by the President. It is our duty to create employment for the youths and industrialise our communities. This is the start of a big project and I am so happy that I am doing something for my community.’’

Agriculture experts are convinced that with the right support, more jobs will be created through value addition.

Matabeleland South Province Provincial Agronomist Mr Innocent Nyathi noted, ‘‘This is commendable and witH the right support, this is going to propel rural industrialisation in this community.’’

Government is on a massive drive to industrialise rural communities and the coming up of entities like the Simukwe Valley Project may be a spark in the great wheel of development.

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