Mash West’s economic development to leverage increased cereals, horticultural output and mining 

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By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent

MASHONALAND West Province envisages growth in the provincial gross domestic product (GDP) from the current ZW$27.1 billion harnessing on increased agricultural output of cereals, horticultural and other crops.
The development plan also aims to maximize mining and exploration development of vast mineral resources and increase value addition and beneficiation.
Speaking in Kadoma last week, during the official opening of the Provincial Investments Promotion Conference, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Marian Chombo, told delegates that, if fully exploited, the potential of Mashonaland West could result in massive economic growth.
“The investments promotion conference provides a platform for the province to showcase its potentials that if fully exploited will enable the accomplishment of desired economic growth and development envisaged in the Provincial Economic Development Plan (PEDP).
“The broader aim, ladies and gentlemen, is to increase the provincial GDP. In the PEDP we aim at increasing agriculture output of cereals, horticulture and other cash crops through extensive development and resuscitation of irrigation infrastructure,” said Chombo.
She added that mining banking on large deposits of platinum, gold and other precious stones was also part of the growth matrix. Tourism, anchored on vast water bodies dotted across the province, was also another low-hanging fruit.
Development of a robust road network, communication, health and human capital development are key enablers and councils, businesses, ministries, departments and agencies must take opportunities to engage and make investment arrangements, the minister further said.
Mashonaland West, which ranks third in terms of local GDP after Harare and Bulawayo Metropolitans, anchors its economy on agriculture and mining, contributing 25.5% and 16.7%, respectively.
“With the inherent competitive and comparative advantages which we are sure will bring investment, the growth rate will easily double thereby having a positive net effect on the growth of GDP and livelihoods of citizens…,” Chombo said.
She assured potential investors that Mashonaland West was a destination of choice where ease of doing business is guaranteed.
A Zimbabwe Investments Development Agency (ZIDA) official said the renewable energy project at Mapinga worth US$2.8 billion was bringing huge support to the growth of the province’s GDP.
He highlighted that 21 ministries are seconded to ZIDA which is a one-stop shop to get licences, which are now issued within five days from the previous 21 days.
China is leading in investments, but Zimbabweans in the diasporans are also contributing to the number of new businesses.
Tinashe Manzungu, ZimBuild Holdings chief executive officer, said his company was eyeing tapping into various construction projects in Mashonaland West, having recently procured a 30 000 per day capacity brick manufacturing plant which will make bricks easily accessible.
Pig industry producers said opportunities were abundant in animal breeding through genetics engineering, biogas digesters to build capacity to feed into the national electricity grid as well as manufacture of organic fertilizers.
The inaugural one-day conference was held under the theme, “Unlocking and Unpacking Investment Opportunities Towards the Achievement of Vision 2030 in Mashonaland West Through Domestic and Foreign Arrangements.”