George Maponga in Masvingo
Masvingo is on course to achieve its growth targets in line with Vision 2030 with Government availing over $8 billion since the beginning of the year to finance key projects aimed at expanding the province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The resource-rich province’s GDP is currently estimated at US$1,8 billion and is targeted to grow to US$8 billion by 2030.
This optimism is centred on President Mnangagwa’s prioritisation of projects that have a positive impact on economic growth.
The province has several flagship projects that are at various stages of development with funding from Government through line ministries to spur growth in line with Vision 2030.
Part of the funding is also coming via the devolution programme which has already engendered socio-economic transformation across the province, particularly in areas like health, education and road infrastructure.
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira paid tribute to President Mnangagwa’s administration for lining up various programmes to effect socio-economic change.
Speaking while commissioning two tillage tractors acquired by Government for the District Development Fund (DDF) under the agricultural mechanisation programme, the Minister expressed optimism the province’s GDP would grow exponentially in the current decade, thanks to Government’s funding of critical projects.
According to Minister Chadzamira, since the beginning of the year, projects that got funding include the ongoing building of a Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) Medical School, marula fruit processing and value addition plant in Mwenezi and halls of residence complex at Roger Howman Vocational Training Centre in the city.
These projects are expected to stimulate economic growth via job creation and value addition with a multiplier effect on both the provincial and national economies.
“The province has received huge support in the form of financial disbursements towards our flagship projects under line ministries.
“These include the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, Empower Bank, Women’s Bank, SMEDCO and Community Development Fund, among others,” said Minister Chadzamira.
An additional $1,85 billion has been planted by Government into various projects in Masvingo under devolution.
In most districts, key road upgrading projects are being rolled out while new clinics are sprouting in remote areas to make sure people have easy access to health facilities.
Scores of schools are also being built using devolution funding which is changing the face of the province with new roads also being developed.
Minister Chadzamira said the province was also eyeing high impact long term projects to ensure the province’s food self-sufficiency.
This was predicated on the province’s high dam density that could be exploited for irrigation.
“In the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) under agricultural sector, we planned for high impact projects in the form of 70 000 hectares irrigation development downstream of all our water bodies, construction of Runde-Tende Dam and support infrastructure that include power generation, roads, airports, dry ports, housing and human capital development,” he said.
Turning to DDF, Minister Chadzamira said the beefing up of its tillage fleet in Masvingo would complement other programmes such as revitalisation of irrigation schemes among others to enhance foods security.
The Minister of State’s Office would make sure the tillage equipment benefited the targeted beneficiaries and was well maintained.
DDF Masvingo provincial coordinator Mr Marasa Gutukunuhwa welcomed boosting of the tillage fleet saying it would increase the number of operational tractors from seven to nine.
Masvingo has a complement of 72 tractors but 24 are down and require minor repairs to run while 41 need major repairs.
Last year DDF tilled only 307ha across Masvingo down from over 4 000ha the previous year owing to grounded fleet.