The Sunday News
Chrispen Gumunyu, Business Reporter
THE Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development is set to commission a mopane worm (amacimbi) processing plant in Beitbridge next month as part of efforts to add value to the edible caterpillars as it moves to create various income generating projects in communities.
Addressing a post-Cabinet meeting last week, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the report by Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni on the 100 day projects that they undertook revealed that Phase One of the project was already complete in Matshiloni, Beitbridge District.
“Cabinet received a progress report on the implementation of a 100 day programme from Minister Sithembiso Nyoni under the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprises Development progress report regarding projects under implementation. Phase One establishment of the project at Matshiloni in Beitbridge is complete. Delivery of equipment for phase 2 is expected by end of March while commissioning of the project is scheduled for April 2019,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Matabeleland South provincial development officer Mrs Merjury Sikhundla commended the Government for setting up the plant which will act as a business hub and enable amacimbi harvesters to sell their products without being exploited.
“Exports should not be conducted in a batter exchange system whereby women are given second hand clothes or soap in exchange for their mopani worms by middlemen who export the mopani worms to countries such as Angola and South Africa and make huge profits but they should be business minded and receive maximum benefits from this natural resource. There is need to eliminate the middlemen, we want these women to sell their products at this processing plant the same way maize farmers sell their maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)” said Mrs Sikhundla.
Other projects from the same ministry include the linking of 150 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to large corporates. The 150 SMEs are involved in sectors such as soya bean, potato, tea production, horticulture, leather products, engineering services and the supply of goods including clothes, liquid soap and tissues among many others.