The Sunday Mail
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has urged people in Chipinge to leverage on banana production to grow their provincial economy in line with Government’s devolution programme.
Speaking to villagers affected by Cyclone Idai at Ngaone Village, the First Lady said Manicaland province had favourable climatic conditions for horticulture.
Over the years, small-scale banana farmers in Ngaone have failed to secure markets for their produce.
“I heard that you produce bananas here. I want you to form associations so that you can work in groups. We will help you to secure markets,” she said.
The First Lady said the area needed a good road network to enable farmers to transport their produce.
She promised to engage Government to facilitate the rehabilitation.
“Roads should be fixed so that you can easily transport your bananas. This way, we will reduce the possibility of middlemen fleecing you by buying your produce at cheap prices.
“However, for you to reach those markets with your produce, you need a good communication network. I have been advised that there is very limited network coverage here. I will engage the telecommunications companies so that they install more boosters in this area. Our progress cannot thrive without communication,” said the First Lady. The community, she added, cannot continue relying on handouts as they would not last long, adding that youths had a big role in economic development.
Manicaland had a comparative advantage over other provinces and could easily make devolution work, she said.
“Youths, you have to work. God gave all of us hands, let us use them to make our economy thrive again.
‘‘This area is blessed with good weather, so you can easily produce horticulture products that will earn you good money,” she said.
The First Lady said she would also establish the Manicaland chapter of her Angel of Hope Foundation to ensure that challenges being faced by women and youths in the province are expeditiously addressed.
“I want to form that chapter here in Manicaland and all of you will be members. You will come up with ways we can help women to make their lives better,” she said.
The First Lady was in Manicaland for three days during which she visited various areas in Chimanimani and Chipinge to meet with victims of Cyclone Idai.
She handed over food and non-food stuffs and promised to continue sourcing more to ensure that no-one went hungry.