African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6578

Full Length Research Paper

The status of the agro-processing industry in Zimbabwe with particular reference to small- and medium-scale enterprises

Norman Mhazo1, Brighton M. Mvumi2*, Elijah Nyakudya2and Raymond M. Nazare2  
1Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Swaziland, P. O. Luyengo, Swaziland. 2Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, P. O. Box MP 167, Mt.Pleasant,  Harare, Zimbabwe.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Published: 19 March 2012

Abstract

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and expertise among technocrats, deliberately kept unpublished for commercial purposes.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.