Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga says the designation of Victoria Falls as a special economic zone should enable it to unleash its untapped potential in areas such as horticulture production, teak furniture manufacturing and small grains production in line with the country’s goal of achieving export-led economic growth.

Matabeleland North Province has a lot of untapped opportunities which can be harnessed to achieve the country’s food security aspirations and realisation of the middle income economy status.

In a speech read on his behalf during the official opening of the 2018 Victoria Falls Agricultural Show, Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga said the granting of the special economic zone status and upgrading of the Victoria Falls International Airport should enable the province to unleash the potential in areas such as horticulture, small grains production and fish farming.

“The Victoria Falls airport now competes with other major airports in the region. Therefore, farmers must take advantage of the upgraded airport to export horticultural products to different niche markets,” he said.

The Vice President hailed the continued growth of the annual exhibition and challenged the Victoria Falls municipality to take necessary steps to secure a permanent exhibition park.

Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) Board Chairperson, Mr Ivan Craig said there is scope to grow the exhibition and reminded people not to underestimate the potential of the province to become a hub of agricultural activities.

“People continue to underestimate the potential of this region to be a hub of agricultural activities. There is huge potential for this province to contribute more to the broader economy,” he said.

Victoria Falls Mayor, Councillor Somvelo Dhlamini and Victoria Falls Agricultural Show Manager, Mr Tendai Moyo expressed confidence that engagements during the exhibition will go a long way in maximising the agricultural sector’s contribution to the broader economy.

Several outstanding exhibitors from different sectors of the local economy received prizes and certificates.

The 2018 edition of the Victoria Falls Agricultural Show was held under the theme: ‘Building Green Economy Linkages and Beneficiation Networks.’