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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rural Growth Points in Zimbabwe: Prospects for the Future
Author:Wekwete, K.H.
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:rural development
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Drought and Desertification
Development and Technology
Abstract:The term 'growth point' is used in Zimbabwe to denote settlements which are designated for economic and physical development. This paper examines the context of rural growth points in Zimbabwe since independence (1980). A review of the government's growth centre policy from 1981 onward reveals a policy shift from a focus on the physical development of designated centres towards the stimulation of economic activity. However, prospects for the decentralization of economic activity are poor, one of the major constraints being the limited size of the national market for existing industrial and commercial firms. A number of possible opportunities for industrial and commercial activities at growth points are identified. The paper strongly argues for those activities linked to the primary activity, agriculture, which are labour intensive and have a potentially viable local market. Proposed rural industries include seed grading and packing, fruit and vegetable processing, processing of oilseeds, rural abattoirs and associated industries, and rural milling and associated products. On the whole, the future development of commercial exchange depends on the improvement of rural incomes. This in turn depends on the future delivery of government services and the patterns of capital flows. It is argued that the central government should undertake an evaluation of all rural growth points in order to be able to formulate long-term development policies. Furthermore, the role of local authorities in the promotion of the growth centres is of vital importance. Bibliogr., note, sum.