Agrobusiness - Featured - Local - Top Stories - September 23, 2021

SCDT to give Mudzi farmers sovereignty over their produce through value addition

Mudzi community farming hub, Shinga Community Development Trust (SCDT) is on a thrust to become a leading industrial hub by tapping into value addition

Shinga Community Development Trust (SCDT) is an organisation which was established in April 2020 and  is hinged on promoting and coordinating production of groundnuts as well as other traditional grains by processing them locally, packaging, branding and marketing with a projection of hitting the international market through ZimTrade.

The Trust’s vision goes in hand with the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA)’s recent transformative rebranding exercise in which the new product range will see the deployment of technology as well as innovations that will see farmers benefiting from the yield output, value addition and access to markets at very competitive prices.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer of ARDA, Tinotenda Mhiko said the organisation is cognisant of the important role that Agriculture and Agro Industry Development plays not only for the sustenance of livelihoods at household level, but to the economic development of our country at large.

“…the Authority is geared towards establishing rural agro-processing plants in all strategic locations to guarantee markets and promote value addition and beneficiation of produce. This would ensure development and industrialisation of marginalised rural communities,” Mhiko said.

Speaking to BusinessMail, Public Relations and Marketing Manager of SCDT, Mark Tsabora said they are training farmers to understand that there is no value in selling away raw produce, instead, they must add value to the produce, to obtain premium value, then deliver value to the community so as to bring transformation and resilience building.

In Zimbabwe over 70% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods according to Food and Agriculture Organisation. Thus, there is need to incorporate small scale farmers in value addition since they play a critical role in food and nutrition security in Zimbabwe.

“Income generated through this venture and all the value chain lines will be used for community infrastructure development, education of less privileged children, intensive support for farmer programs through procurement of modern machinery and equipment for farming.

“All groundnuts, sorghum and millet produced in Shinga Ward and in Mudzi in general are to be mobilised through pooling by Trust members and procurement from all other farmers,” Tsabora said.

The trust processes peanut, mhunga mealie-meal and sorghum.

“Groundnuts, sorghum and millet are the predominant crops here in Mudzi District, hence the ubiquity of these produce being the foundational bedrock of deriving value, objective to SCDT.

“However, we are facing challenges such as funding for processing machinery, computers required for Trust management use and fence for the Trust premises,” Tsabora said.

SCDT’s objectives are also anchored on the government devolution agenda which will be broad-based as well as inclusive of civil society and the citizenry bottom-up participation assisted with the design of envisaged processes,

“We want to transform the Rural community set up to modern standards, to be a one stop employment opportunity centre for youths, women and men alike, along the value chains and to facilitate the transformation of farming standards to commercial levels in this semi – arid district , through adoption of modern  farming technologies,” Tsabora said.

The Trust is also engaged in supporting field days, it will participate at this year’s Agriculture Show at Chimango Primary and it has a collective vision which will lead to the pooling of 10 tonnes of groundnuts stock ready which will be ready to the fed into the organisation.

SCDT is an all inclusive community initiative which never closes and it is open to affiliation.

 

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