Bikita Rural District Council plans to expand its revenue base through partnering investors in a fruit canning business.
The district is endowed with vast plantations of fruits such as guavas, avocados, mango among others.
Council has since set up a task force to identify and engage suitable investors for the business that is expected to boost revenues and create jobs.
The local authority’s chief executive Mr Peter Chibhi said his council was already in the process of engaging potential investors for fruit canning.
He said council wanted to ramp up the district’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision of turning Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy by 2030. “Bikita is endowed with a variety of fruit species which can be processed into juices, butter and other products for both domestic consumption and export. The ward councillors and staff here have identified the available fruits as a possible cash-cow. The search for sources of revenue in the district is also being done by the local authority to complement Government efforts to revive the national economy,” Mr Chibhi said. He said Bikita has vast potential to be a major industrial hub in the eastern part of Masvingo Province.
“Once we find investors for the fruit processing venture, people in the district will be assured of employment,” he said. Traditional leaders and senior Government officials here have already embarked on a campaign to encourage villagers to set up syndicates that will establish additional fruit tree plantations in the district.
District Administrator Mr Benard Hadzirabwi said fruit canning was a low-hanging fruit for Bikita considering the existence of large wild plantations of fruits particularly guavas.