Govt, BAT sign MoU
Munesu Nyakudya Business Reporter
The Government and the British American Tobacco Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Empowerment Trust have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing tobacco production in the country.
The Tobacco Empowerment Trust fund is a revolving loan facility meant to provide the youth with access to credit in support of their entrepreneurial and employment creation initiatives.
Through the MoU, the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Ministry received $527 000 from BAT for the provision of technical, financial and infrastructural support to Chaminuka Vocational Training Centre in Mashonaland Central.
The Chaminuka Vocational Training Centre is renowned as an excellent training ground for aspiring small scale farmers.
Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao said the facility is oriented towards meeting Point 1 of the Government’s 10 point plan which seeks to re-vitalise the agriculture and agro-processing value chain.
“The 10,76 percent ordinary equity that is subscribed and acquired by the Tobacco Empowerment Trust will improve the livelihoods of indigenous farmers in Zimbabwe.
“The programme seeks to economically empower disadvantaged Zimbabweans and create conditions that will enhance the economic status of disadvantaged Zimbabweans,” Minister Zhuwao said.
He commended BAT for pursuing an economic empowerment driven initiative that will empower youths, women and communities.
He said that companies like BAT have achieved more while implementing the Indigenisation law.
Meanwhile, some projects have already been established at Chaminuka Vocational Training Centre to facilitate crop production.
And the trust will also establish projects, which include construction of irrigation facilities, repair of farm machinery, construction of tobacco bans, renovation and refurbishment of structures and curriculum development
The Minister said curriculum development is a critical component in vocational education as it reinforces the aspect of continuous improvement and quality enhancement in the courses offered at the training centres.