THE revival of Bulawayo industries has to be buttressed by a vibrant agriculture sector and this week the city council is participating at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS) in Harare to market the city’s investment opportunities along the farming value chain.
City of Bulawayo business development officer, Mr Kholisani Moyo, said their first time participation at ZAS was prompted by a desire to drive more investment along the agricultural value chain as part of a broader re-industrialisation agenda for the city. He said last year a team from council was sent to ZAS to first scan the platform and identify opportunities that may be available for the city given that Bulawayo is also involved in agriculture.
“From that visit we realised that Zimbabwe Agricultural Show is a big platform where we can market the city’s strategic business units (SBUs). As a city we have got three SBUs, which are involved in agriculture,” said Mr Moyo.
“The first one is the farm. We have what is called Aisleby and Good Hope farms. These mainly do livestock production and sorghum production, which is used by Ingwebu Breweries, one of our commercial entities to produce Ingwebu beer and maheu. The by-product from the animals like the skins, are sold to companies in Bulawayo. Some of the products we have are being exhibited here at the show.”
He said the council was aiming to leverage on ZAS by showcasing its farms as well as seeking investments and markets for related farm projects in and around the city in line with the council’s agriculture policy.
“As a City of Bulawayo, we have an agriculture policy, which supports small holder farmers or residents and we are here to showcase opportunities in this so as to improve food production and thereby reduce poverty in the city,” said Mr Moyo.
“For instance we have companies like Millenium Footwear, Soko Leather products, we also have Nnino Ceramics and these have products that are inspired by our agricultural policy.
“We also wanted showcase our Park Nursery, another subsidiary of council. The Park Nursery provides quality choices for people looking for plants and garden supplies. It is responsible for greening up the city. By coming to the show we thought we could get the market for this.”
Mr Moyo also said council was participating at ZAS to showcase the city’s tourism services and investment opportunities. Bulawayo is endowed with a variety of tourism packages covering historical and heritage products while being surrounded by a range of destination attractions.
“The other area that we also wanted to market is the Caravan Park because, if we have farmers or people who are doing business in Bulawayo, they can stay at the Caravan Park and visit other areas around Bulawayo. So, we thought that for this entity or SBUs, it’s critical to market it. Some people who will be coming for the Sanganai/Hlanganani expo can use the Caravan Park for their accommodation.
“So, those are some of the things that motivated us to come to the agricultural show, mainly to market our subsidiary SBUs and to also market other companies linked to the agricultural sector,” he said.