The review examined what small and medium agro-processing systems require to effectively
manufacture and market processed products; and analysed agro-processing service provision, and
research and extension linkages in Zimbabwe. The number of agro-processors has increased, creating
employment opportunities, but the prevailing economic environment tend to favour growth of mediumscale enterprises by down-sizing of large-scale processing systems and upgrading of small-scale
processing enterprises. There are well-established skills training programmes in manufacturing,
targeted at rural artisans. However, the agro-processing sector currently faces many challenges
including access to finances, limited research, technical advice, market information, lack of reliable
markets and general institutional decline. Equipment ownership mechanisms have been left to evolve
without adequate technical advice and support. Equipment costs are unaffordable to individuals,
technology access rather than ownership is more favourable. Many large-scale processors are
subcontracting medium-scale processors who meet the required standards, to supply them with
processed products for packing, labelling and marketing. There is hidden agro-processing information
and expertise among technocrats, deliberately kept unpublished for commercial purposes. A review of
this type requires good connectivity to be able to access relevant and up-to-date information.
Key words: Agro-processing industry, equipment, small and medium enterprises, Zimbabwe, service-milling.