The government of Zimbabwe has revealed plans to set up a tomato processing factory at the Tabudirira Training Centre in Mutoko in order to boost the production of tomato sauce and paste.
According to the government, the funds for the establishment of the factory would be gotten from the country’s devolution programme.
The devolution programmme is founded on the principle of empowering provincial government councils to spearhead economic and social development projects in their areas by leveraging local resources.
Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Senator Apollonia Munzverengwi noted that the tomato factory would contribute immensely to the Province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The factory which would be of benefit to horticulture farmers in the province is expected to be operational by the end of the year, the Senator said.
“There is a processing factory in Mutoko at Tabudirira Training Centre, which we have established for value addition of tomatoes into tomato sauce, puree and paste.
“We hope it will be running by end of this year.
“We are looking forward to establishing other processing plants in areas like Murehwa, Hwedza, and Beatrice where horticulture is practiced extensively.
“We want to increase our processing plants so that we add value to our perishable farm produce,” Munzverengwi said.
Meanwhile, the devolution funds released under the Public Sector Investment Programme were also used in constructing dams which will be used for irrigation, some of it near completion.
Munzverengwi added, “We also have a number of dams which are under construction. Causeway Dam is one of them and it will be complete by end of October.
“Hopefully with the anticipated good rains this year our dam will be full. On completion, the dam will have the capacity to hold 26 million cubic meters of water.
“We are planning on establishing 360 hectares of land surrounding Causeway Dam to go under irrigation and boost the production in that area, especially the crops which will benefit our province in terms of food security.”