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Value addition success story hits UK market

INDUSTRIALISATION championed by President Mnangagwa which places emphasis on value addition and beneficiation of natural resources for optimum profits has seen Zimbabwe on the verge of making a major breakthrough, with Marula oil — a high end beauty product — set to hit the United Kingdom market soon.

The luxury high-value product is aimed at the natural beauty market.

A group of Zimbabwean women specialising in exotic wild plant-based beauty oils is exhibiting its new product, Marula oil, made from local mapfura fruit at a pop-up event scheduled for tomorrow in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, UK.

Mapfura is a wild fruit that grows in abundance in Zimbabwe mostly found in the once marginalised area of Mwenezi and its oil helps build collagen as well as hydrating skin and hair.

Apart from oil, the wild fruit is also used to produce juices, wines, edible oils and stock feed for the local market.

President Mnangagwa has since commissioned the Marula/Mapfura Processing and Value-Addition Factory at Rutenga Growth Point, Mwenezi, to ease the economic sanctions pain in rural communities where industries are shaping up.

In yet another breakthrough for Zimbabwean products, an all-female start-up company based in Zimbabwe, Chiiso Botanics, specialising in exotic wild plant-based beauty oils, will be giving away 300 free samples of its new plant-based beauty oil to a select group of customers tomorrow.

According to a UK-based publication, londonnewsonline.co.uk, Chiiso Botanics is working with London-based entrepreneur Ms Mufadzi Nkomo (54), who lives in Streatham Hill, Streatham, in bringing to the UK some sought-after beauty oils from Zimbabwe.

“I started off with 10 women back in 2020 and now there are over 80 women in the cooperative and it is still growing. The oil does not get rid of wrinkles but helps with the ones caused by pollution and environmental stressors because we believe you want the best antidote to premature skin damage,” she said.

But, Ms Nkomo said wrinkles are not necessarily a bad thing.

“Wrinkles etched in by experience, laughter and wisdom should be celebrated. Marula oil will give your skin the best skincare while empowering rural women in southern Zimbabwe.”

In Mwenezi, the setting up of the processing plant by the National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe is a stepping stone to ensuring communities accrue tangible economic benefits from the fruit. NBAZ is an autonomous research body under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.

The processing plant is the first factory at Rutenga, a sprawling settlement and the major trading centre in Mwenezi District which is angling for town status.

The plant is part of the country’s industrialisation agenda, which is premised on innovation in the exploitation of locally available resources to grow the economy in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 to transform Zimbabwe into an upper-middle-class economy.

The mapfura/marula fruit is ubiquitous in most parts of semi-arid rural Mwenezi and neighbouring Mberengwa districts.

Villagers in Mwenezi pocket at least US$5 million monthly from selling the wild fruit for processing at the factory.

The factory can produce 75 000 litres of concentrated Mapfura juice per month and gets its key raw material from the Mwenezi community at an agreed price during the peak season from the end of January to April when the fruit would be in abundance.

Herald

Positive Eye News

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