Boka spreads its wings

Source: Boka spreads its wings | The Herald November 6, 2019

Boka spreads its wingsChido Nyakudya

Business Reporter
BOKA Tobacco Floors (BTF) is set to construct a selling floor in Karoi in Mashonaland West Province as it embraces the decentralisation of tobacco marketing. The construction of the floor will also dovetail with the Government’s devolution agenda, which is encouraging the decentralisation of private investments.

BTF managing director Ms Chido Nyakudya, told The Herald Finance & Business the construction of the floor would begin soon and will be ready for use next season.

This will bring convenience to many farmers around the province who have been travelling long distances to sell their commodity to Harare where most auction floors are located.

“The local economy in Karoi will get a huge boost from the increased activities in the town,” said Ms Nyakudya.
“The town council will broaden their revenue generation potential. The selling floors also create an ecosystem of service providers, traders, financial institutions, who will coalesce in and around the town.”

BTF has acquired state-of-the-art machinery to build the floors modelled around the iconic Boka Tobacco Floors in Harare. Ms Nyakudya said the investment came at the right time when authorities are working on enhancing orderly marketing of tobacco.
“Orderly marketing of tobacco starts with appropriate infrastructure,” said Ms Nyakudya.

“The importance of the tobacco industry in Zimbabwe should be matched with appropriate and state-of-the-art infrastructure which Boka is ready to provide.”

Make-shift tobacco floors setup in run down warehouses do not give confidence to investors considering to be a part of the country’s agriculture industry.

“Good infrastructure also gives confidence to farmers and local business. Each time a solid infrastructure is built, new businesses sprout around it,” said Ms Nyakudya.

Mashonaland West is among the largest tobacco producing provinces in the country. The Boka selling floor will serve farmers in Hurungwe District including Tengwe, Kazangarare, communities around Karoi, Nyama resettlement, Nyamakate area and Magunje. Even farmers in the Mhangura and Chinhoyi area can travel to Karoi to sell their crop.

Devolution agenda
The Government is currently implementing devolution agenda that emphasise regional economic development. Devolution refers to the cascading of powers and responsibilities to lower levels of governance by the central Government and in Zimbabwe a key feature of this is the creation of provincial councils that will become the authority in the running of affairs in the country’s regions. In recognition of the importance of devolution, the Government has made the implementation of the concept a key strategy of the national development agenda.

The devolution and decentralisation programme features prominently in the socio-economic development roadmap, Vision 2030, the TSP and the 2019 National Budget. It is anchored on the overriding objective of promoting sustainable, representative, accountable and inclusive governance. It recognises the right of communities to manage their economic affairs and further their own development as well as encouraging the equitable sharing of local and national resources.

The model of devolution will facilitate investment in various districts at growth points. The national GDP will be disaggregated to the provincial level for competitiveness purpose. The provincial management of the economy entails working closely with the private sector to capture data and understanding their requirements.

“This approach to decentralisation of tobacco floors will help decentralise economic activities and de-congest Harare,” said Ms Nyakudya.