A NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation, TechnoServe, has partnered with platinum miner Unki Mine to construct a state-of-the-art fresh produce packhouse at Tongogara, Shurugwi district.
Speaking during the launch of the US$350 000 structure, Shurugwi assistant district development co-ordinator Tavonga Mufarachisi said the packhouse is the first of its kind in the Midlands province.
“We feel very honoured as a district to have this state-of-the-art fresh produce packhouse. We want to applaud TechnoServe and indeed the development partner Unki Mine for this development. This packhouse will go a long way in serving as a storage facility for our smallholder farmers. TodayTechnoServe and Unki Mine have demonstrated that in Shurugwi money is not only in mining but also in farming,” he said.
Mufarachisi challenged farmers to utilise the facility so that it does not become a white elephant.
Technoserve country manager William Zirebwa said: “Farmers came up with the name Takura Trust for this project and one of the major challenges they (farmers) pointed out were markets for their produce. This 15ha packhouse meets international standards and is the only one in the Midlands province.”
The organisation trained 200 smallholder farmers from five irrigation schemes namely Gonye, Taguta, Shungudzevhu, Chuni and Zananda who were all presented with international certificates which allow them to export their produce.