Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will today, after officiating at the Lupane State University (LSU) graduation ceremony, tour the institution’s innovation hub.
LSU is one of the beneficiaries of the Government’s $7,2 billion funding for local universities’ innovation hubs and infrastructural development. It is mandated to conduct research on the Dryland Agro Innovation and Industrialisation Programme with the aim of solving agriculture related challenges in arid regions of Matabeleland and other parts of the country.
Lupane residents and villagers will also have the opportunity to meet the President soon after he finishes the tour.
“The President is expected to tour the innovation hub and after that, he will then meet the people from across the political divide and of course we expect that he will address the gathering who are obviously excited about meeting a man who has, over a very short period, brought so much development in the region in general and Lupane in particular,” said Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Richard Moyo.
The Second Republic is carrying out various projects expected to speed up growth of Lupane Town, which is the provincial capital of Matabeleland North.
Finishing touches are being made on the construction of the Lupane Government Complex to house almost all provincial Government offices, while the construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital is underway.
LSU is being perfected and now hosts almost all faculties at its main campus, while the Provincial Registry offices are already functional.
The Bubi-Lupane Dam and irrigation are now operational, supplying water to the new town and providing villagers with irrigation facilities.
There are plans for a fishing project on the dam, while the irrigation which has been expanded to 600ha means that hunger will be a thing of the past in Lupane.
Clinics and schools have been built in Lupane using devolution funds in areas like Lihlo, Ziqalabemi, Mbondo, Hilltop and Pupu. Roads within the district are being rehabilitated with the Government having recently completed tarring the 10km stretch of Fighting Road that links Lupane-Nkayi and Kwekwe.
The LSU innovation hub has a number of projects under its wings such as goat breeding, fisheries, poultry, piggery and small grains research.
“We are hoping to breed the goats and come up with an improved breed from the one we have in Matabeleland North and in the medium and long term projection we will give the improved bill goats (impongo) to our communal farmers. The out-grower scheme will increase the population of goats in the region and in the process empower our communal farmers,” said LSU spokesperson Mr Zwelithini Dlamini.
He said as part of the value chain addition for the goat breeding project, they were going to be producing quality meat after slaughtering and further teach communal farmers on how to process the
goats’ hides “so that nothing is thrown away after slaughter”.
Mr Dlamini said they are also breeding indigenous chickens in their poultry project and are also into egg production.
“These birds are largely indigenous and the bigger objective is to then have an out-grower scheme where our communal farmers will again be beneficiaries of these improved cock breeds. All these projects are what His Excellency will certainly see during the tour,” said Mr Dlamini.
Article Source: The Chronicle