LifeStyle & Health

Mapfura joy for Mwenezi folk

George Maponga-Masvingo Bureau

Rutenga Development Level was beforehand solely an city entrepôt tucked deep within the backwaters of rural Mwenezi in south-western Masvingo with its solely declare to fame being its strategic location with main highway and railway hyperlinks connecting jap and western elements of Zimbabwe.

The expansion level’s location alongside the Harare-Beitbridge freeway made Rutenga even a strategic web site for the organising of the nation’s first inland dry port to decongest Beitbridge Border Submit that hyperlinks Zimbabwe and its largest buying and selling companion, South Africa.

To the agricultural people within the better Mwenezi space, they needed to content material with a spot on the fringes devising means to eke out a dwelling from the dry ashen soils emaciated by years of recurrent droughts brought on by scanty rains.

The mapfura/marula fruit ubiquitously discovered within the Mwenezi countryside and past supplied a restricted respite for the Mwenezi people who used it to make a well-liked brew domestically referred to as mukumbi.

Mukumbi was created from fermenting the mapfura fruit earlier than extracting the juice which is thought for its excessive ranges of intoxication.

For years the Mwenezi people, watched, wailed and questioned as they counted prices of abuse of this mukumbi curse that seasonally visited their land as inebriated village people received concerned in a single felony after one other.

Homicide instances spiked so did assaults and even rape instances as Mwenezi villagers grappled with the age-old curse from the mapfura/marula fruit.

Only a few if any ever imagined that come 2021, the mapfura/marula fruit can be a supply of satisfaction and an financial escape gap the place villagers from corners of Mwenezi would  derive earnings.

Due to President Mnangagwa’s rural industrialisation drive that emphasises use of domestically out there sources to gas financial progress the mapfura/marula fruit is now a valuable commodity in Mwenezi and past.

The President final yr commissioned a mapfura/marula processing and worth addition plant at Rutenga Development Level in a landmark and game-changing transfer that has firmly positioned the Mwenezi rural people within the financial mainstream of the nation in keeping with the leaving nobody and no place behind mantra.

Lengthy queues are actually an on a regular basis sight on the fledgling processing plant housed on the western edges of the expansion level as villagers from all corners jostle to ship their fruit for wealthy pickings in both onerous foreign money or deposits of their accounts.

Mwenezi villagers haven’t disenchanted because the Nationwide Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe (NBAZ) which arrange the processing manufacturing unit must date raked in additional than 200 tonnes of mapfura fruit offered by peculiar villagers.

The processing plant has introduced pleasure and aid on the faces of the Mwenezi rural populace and villagers now treasure the mapfura/marula fruit.

Rutenga is presently on hearth  – due to the processing plant which continues to soak up the mapfura/marula fruit from completely different areas with villagers taking again house the money dividend from a useful resource that beforehand wasted away with out anybody giving a wink.

NBAZ initially opened the processing plant for 2 weeks on trial run,early final month, earlier than it began working at full throttle to coincide with the beginning of the mapfura fruit harvesting season which is now at its peak.

Mapfura/marula are harvested from finish of January to finish of April and the fruit is ubiquitous in Mwenezi, elements of Chivi and Chiredzi that are synonymous with arid local weather.

When President Mnangagwa inaugurated the processing plant final yr beneath Authorities’s rural industrialisation drive that’s under-girded on the usage of native experience and innovation to use domestically out there sources and engender socio-economic growth in keeping with Imaginative and prescient 2030, only a few had been optimistic of its success.

The plant,the primary of it’s form in Zimbabwe,was billed to course of and worth add the indigenous mapfura/marula fruit to supply edible oils,juices and wines for each the native market and export.

Right this moment the buzzword throughout Mwenezi is the mapfura/marula fruit which is now the fruit of selection and poised to pivot the district on the highway to prosperity, if indications from the inaugural advertising and marketing season presently underway are something to go by.

Mr Pure Tapfumaneyi a Rutenga resident famous that mapfura/marula had introduced a recent catalyst for rising the expansion level and areas past.

“We by no means imagined that mapfura/marula may change folks’s lives on this method. 

“The influence is speedy as a result of villagers are supplying the fruit and immediately getting paid,its like a dream,” he stated.

For Mr Ranganai Zambuko from Chitanga village, Mwenezi won’t ever be the identical once more now that the plentiful mapfura/marula fruit has financial worth.

“We are able to now simply raises cash to purchase meals and ship our kids to highschool. It’s quite simple all we have now to do is to select the fruit and ferry it to the plant then we receives a commission. We by no means anticipated this in our lifetime,” stated Mr Zambuko.

The NBAZ processing plant is today a hive of exercise as a hodgepodge of villagers and donkey-drawn carts laden with the mapfura/marula fruit patiently wait inside and with out the manufacturing unit’s precincts to ship the fruit.

Dr Dexter Savadye, the NBAZ chief govt and registrar, confirmed a stampede by villagers to promote mapfura at their manufacturing unit in Rutenga.

He disclosed that the inaugural advertising and marketing season had exceeded expectations including that they had been drawing worthwhile classes for the long run.

“Now we have heaps and heaps of mapfura/marula fruit of assorted grades at our manufacturing unit that had been delivered by farmers (villagers) and we’re nonetheless taking extra deliveries as a result of we’re on the peak of the harvesting season,” stated Dr Savadye.

“There are lengthy queues of farmers wishing to promote their fruit and we have now assured them that we’ll take all of the fruit no matter the grade. 

“We’ll purchase all the pieces and we have now already surpassed our goal to gather 50 tonnes as a result of now we’re already over 200 tonnes and nonetheless going.” 

Dr Savadye famous that classes being drawn from the inaugural advertising and marketing season can be helpful in future seasons.

“We’re studying our classes as we go as you understand that is our first season to purchase from farmers, however this yr we have now already famous the necessity to develop the manufacturing unit. 

“We’ll develop the processing plant and the warehouses in order that a few of the fruit we buy is just not saved within the open like what’s acquiring now.” 

Scarcity of area to maintain the fruit means a few of the fruit delivered by farmers is saved within the open, however Dr Samadye is assured this growth won’t blemish a profitable debut advertising and marketing season for mapfura.

“Now we have been shopping for a tonne of the fruit for US$100 or US$5 per 50kg bag and for many who wish to be paid in native foreign money we have now requested them to open accounts and have deposited their money. “

The mapfura frenzy in Mwenezi has already seen peculiar villagers bagging wealthy pickings primarily in onerous foreign money.

This has enabled them to construct a strong disposable earnings base for college feed functions or buying meals for his or her households.

In response to Dr Savadye, the mapfura manufacturing unit had been a boon for employment round Rutenga.

“We presently have 114 handbook labourers on the plant who’re liable for sorting and grading the fruit bought from farmers as a result of we’re shopping for all the pieces,” he stated.

A further 14 employees employed in administration on the plant means the overall workers complement is 128.

“The variety of informal employees can be elevated on the plant relying on the work at hand. They’ll use their discretion to extend the workforce,” stated Dr Savadye.

He highlighted that prospects for a vibrant future on the plant had been very excessive, including that the mapfura/marula manufacturing unit had metamorphosed Mwenezi’s rural financial system.

Mwenezi Rural District Council chief govt, Mr Albert Chivanga, famous that the mapfura/marula promoting season was in full swing and galvanised the district’s fledgling financial system.

“The mapfura/marula plant has shaken Rutenga and on a regular basis individuals are flocking to the plant to promote their fruit. Mwenezi won’t ever be the identical once more,” stated Mr Chivanga.

Chief Chitanga, Mr Felen Chauke, paid tribute to President Mnangagwa and his administration for the imaginative and prescient to arrange the mapfura/marula fruit processing plant which he says has introduced pleasure on the faces of the Mwenezi rural people

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