EDITOR – THE direction being taken by the Government of Zimbabwe in rural industrialisation is the way to go and the nation must take these projects further.
If we are to achieve Vision 2030 as a nation, our industrialisation strategy must start concentrating in rural areas.
We must develop new infrastructures and expedite the creation of significant jobs and trade opportunities in the rural areas.
Zimbabweans remain largely a rural people who derive their livelihood from agriculture and other related rural economic activities.
With rural industrialization, agricultural activities will not only provide employment and income for 60-70 percent of the population at farming level but in food processing.
The larger percentage of the raw materials required by the industry coming from the agriculture produce will be readily available there.
Enhancing the welfare of the rural people should be the objective of a rural development plan.
Rural industrialisation will result in all-round development of rural areas, low investment in plants and machinery, use of locally available raw materials, high potential for employment generation, high potential for income generation and use of traditional skills.
Promoting the development of rural industries helps in the economic development, export of value-added products and also in improving the livelihood of rural people.
Locating industries in the rural areas prevents the drift of young people from the rural areas to the towns and cities, thus easing problems of urbanisation.
Labour is likely to be cheaper in the rural areas.
Moreover, transportation and accommodation problems of staff are likely to be less acute since many will be commuting or walking from their rural homes to work.
Having industries in rural areas will eventually lead to improvement in city environment by reducing the concentration of industrial units in big cities.