From George Maponga in Masvingo: Government has registered over 240 fishing cooperatives here as it seeks to leverage on the province’s high dam density to improve household disposable incomes and grow the economy in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision to make Zimbabwe an upper-middle income economy by 2030.
Registration of the cooperatives is being done by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, which also offers training to members on how to efficiently run them.
The majority of the cooperatives were from Chivi and Masvingo districts, which have the highest number of dams in the province.
Most of the beneficiaries were women and youths, with a large percentage of the cooperatives eyeing the potentially lucrative fishing operations at Tugwi-Mukosi, which is the country’s largest inland dam.
Provincial development officer in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Mr Joseph Mupinga said the registration of fishing cooperatives after training of members was aimed at boosting nutrition in rural communities while boosting their household incomes.
“We have so far registered north of 240 fishing cooperatives after training members on how to run cooperatives and the cooperatives are mostly concentrated in Chivi and Masvingo districts, with other districts such as Chiredzi and Gutu having a small share.”
“Most of the fishing cooperatives will be operating at Tugwi-Mukosi Dam in Chivi, and these cooperatives will undoubtedly boost food and nutrition security at house and community levels, and reduce poverty through opening avenues for improved income generation,” he said.
Mr Mupinga said fishing had the potential to transform lives of the rural populace across Masvingo, which has more than seven big dams.
The birth of fishing cooperatives was also a boon for employment creation, especially among youths as the ventures had potential to expand into big business, whose success will have positive spin-offs on the national economy.
Tugwi-Mukosi is the flagship of the commercial fishing ventures in Masvingo, with the dam being the nerve centre of Government’s Command Fisheries programme.
More than 200 000 fingerlings (young fish) were three years ago stocked in the dam for breeding purposes under Command Fisheries, with the exercise expected to be replicated in other dams dotted around Masvingo. (Source/ The Herald)