Walter Nyamukondiwa Mashonaland West Bureau
Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Mary Mliswa has said the province is heading for exciting times due to better prospects in the mining, agriculture and tourism industries.
This comes as plans by a Chinese firm to establish a ceramic tile plant in Norton with potential to employ nearly 2 000 people are now at an advanced stage.
Minister Mliswa said the province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was set for a major boost as its key economic sectors were showing great potential.
“The economic background in Mash West is quiet good and exciting because we are looking at our tourism which is on the rise because all the places that had gone quiet are now picking up,” she said.
“We have Mazvikadei, the Caves where there are better prospects.”
Work on the Sunny Yi Feng Tile Plant along the Harare-Bulawayo Road in Norton is set to commence soon, with the groundbreaking ceremony expected anytime.
She hailed the resurgence of cotton in the province, which is being spearheaded by the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco), which is giving farmers more options.
This, she said, would help ameliorate the effects of deforestation, which was being caused by tobacco farmers in areas such as Hurungwe, Sanyati, Zvimba, Mhondoro and Chegutu among others in the province.
“The amount of activity that I have seen so far is very high regarding agriculture,” said Minister Mliswa.
“We have cotton, which has come into play as well. People are excited because Cottco is now in the game. People had become a bit despondent, but they are now coming back. Choices are there for farmers.”
Turning to mining, Minister Mliswa said there was push to have artisanal miners form cooperatives so that they adhere to mining and environmental standards.
“We love our artisanal miners, but they should form cooperatives,” she said.
“This means there should be standards that should be met to ensure that there is order and accountability.
“Those three sectors are set to improve our provincial GDP.
“Our economic situation in Mash West is looking good and we are all working together so that everything comes out tops for us.”
Minister Mliswa said the province needed at least six months to evaluate and put figures to the GDP prospects. This, she said, would give everyone time to attune to the expected work ethic.