Runesu Gwidi, Masvingo Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has allocated a total of $9million for bankable projects to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Masvingo alone this year.
Addressing an interactive stakeholder meeting on ministerial mandate held in Masvingo, the Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Development Jennifer Mhlanga encouraged entrepreneurs to consider the value chains in agriculture, mining and other sectors in order to utilise the $9 million availed for the province.
Dep Min Mhlanga said the crux of the meeting was to share information with SMEs on the successes and challenges being faced.
“In line with Vision 2030 focused on transformation of the nation into an upper-middle income economy as enunciated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, we encourage our SMEs to identify value chains in all sectors before they apply for project loans.
“Government, therefore calls for bankable project proposals from SMEs to fully utilise the $9million allocated to Masvingo.
“Before applying for project loans, you need to consider value chains in our economic sector, for instance, mining, agriculture and construction industry. Masvingo is known to be one of the best livestock producers. So you can think around piggery, poultry and pen fattening among other projects.”
She said the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SMEDCO), a parastatal, was responsible for the consideration for approval by Government.
“This year Government has decided to strongly marry SMEs and other stakeholders to the parent ministry for achievement of meaningful community development,” she said.
At the same meeting, SMEs requested Government to ensure local authorities avail land or workspace for doing their business.
Masvingo province has established 18 bakeries and 248 fishing co-operatives among other projects.
Speaking at the meeting, the Minister of State for Masvingo provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira said he was in the process of negotiating with all councils to avail land for SMEs.
“SMEs are quite key in the development of our economy. So far, I have already approached local authorities and requested them to avail land for operation of businesses by SMEs. We expect possive results from the councils shortly,” Chadzamira said.