Mvurwi revels in agro-tourism
Daniel Chigunwe Herald Correspondent
Endowed with a beautiful climate, rich soils, lush vegetation and large water bodies is the farming town of Mvurwi, famed for being the hub of tobacco leaf farming in Mashonaland Central.
Over the past few years the town has become home to giant tobacco players who have established auction floors, among them include brands like Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF), Voedesel Tobacco International, Norton Leaf Tobacco, Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco, Boost Africa, MTC, Grandicore, Bindura Petrana and Shasha Tobacco.
The gamut of large tobacco companies and large retailers such as Pick ‘n Pay and Mega Save have made the town fulfil the Second Republic’s vision of modernising and industrialising rural areas.
Amidst the booming business, local businessmen have also identified a niche in the tourism market which is now giving the farm town a touch of modernity
A new agro-tourism facility is fast emerging in the town after farmer and businessman, Mr Vitalis Kereke introduced the luxurious Stone and Water Resort located on the banks of Gulliver Dam.
The picturesque resort, which opened its doors about three months ago boasts of recreational activities such as boat cruising, camping, quad bikes and horse riding with the ultimate vision of establishing a hotel and conference centre.
Stone and Water Resort provides facilities for sporting activities and recently hosted a boxing tournament.
In its short time in existence, the resort has also hosted several popular local artists while also supporting budding musicians from communities around Mvurwi.
Speaking to this publication, Mr Kereke said the resort embraces the relatively novel concept of agri-tourism.
“We are introducing and embracing the concept of agro-tourism here at my A2 farm, which measures about 200 ha. We mostly grow tobacco, on about 50 to 80 hectares but we reserved a section of the farm for tourism because we have Gulliver Dam, which is one of the largest dams in the province. The dam provides a perfect site for recreational activities,” he said.
Whilst the place has become an entertainment hub, it also provides a networking platform for business people and family-fun outings.
Mr Kereke is currently building conference rooms with the intention of providing workshop facilities to various stakeholders in the province.
“Our next phase is to have conference rooms, we have one already under construction and two more on the way, we have NGOs and Government departments who want to conduct training workshops so in Mvurwi no other centre offers that and we will be the first of a kind to offer that.
“We have an extensive vision and we have ordered 22 quad bikes for adults and 11 for kids. Equipment for conference rooms is on the way as well. Also, we are introducing horse-riding, fishing competitions and a wildlife park, working with the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority,” said Mr Kereke.
Mvurwi Town clerk Dr Shelly Nyakudya commended Mr Kereke for investing in the resort as it will create employment and contribute to the town’s GDP.
“As a town, we are rich in water bodies, we have large dams ideal for boat cruising and fishing. We are happy to see business players like Mr Kereke introducing new packages, as a passage to Kanyemba Border Post. Such facilities lure more tourists to our town and that means more money flowing into our local economy.
“They are also creating employment, which is good for our growing town.”
Mr Simbarashe Sithole the resort’s brand ambassador said, “The establishment of the resort has added towards the fight against drug abuse in the community as well as creating platforms for youth to showcase their talents in the music sector. After holding the national boxing tournament last month, we have several youths taking up the sport here, local artists are also coming to perform here as we are sponsoring them with recording in the studios. This is contributing towards reducing drugs and alcoholism.”