US$20m revolving fund availed for communal farmers

By Tamuka Charakupa

HORTICULTURE farming communities of Chipinge and Chimanimani are targeting to increase production capacity and global market share, after the government unveiled a US$20 million revolving fund for communal farmers.

The fund is meant to capacitate farmers in rural communities to go commercial.

The farmers have been exporting pineapples to the Netherlands since December last year and the unveiling of the funds is expected to unlock more global market opportunities on the back of increased production.

“It is also part of development in Rusitu Valley. The major crop we grew and marketed was banana and later on pineapples, but they were not exported. We thank the government through ZimTrade for unlocking foreign markets. It just goes to say we are on the right path,” said a beneficiary.

Even traditional leaders are excited about the prospects of community-based economic development.

“Th government is currently implementing the NDS1 as the driver towards Vision 2030. So, our wish is to have a mini processing centre so that we do not only produce raw fruits, but increase the value addition,” said Chief Mutema.

The US$20 million revolving fund is expected to enhance farming activities across the country as the government pushes for increased production capacity in rural communities.