Agribank injects $10m into Esigodini plant

Agribank injects $10m into Esigodini plant
Published: 09 August 2017
AGRIBANK has extended $10 million to finance the establishment of a fruit processing plant in Esigodini, Matabeleland South.

The commissioning of the project, a brainchild of the late Vice President, Joshua Nkomo, has been moved to July next year.

Best Fruit Processors (BFP), a division of Schweppes Holdings Africa Limited, is spearheading the project in partnership with the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda). The two partners approved in March this year an initial $10 million investment to set the processing plant and are already running a similar successful project in Norton.

"Agribank is putting forward funds for the Zagrinda plant, a project by the late Vice President Nkomo, which he began in Norton. We already have over $10 million given us by Agribank to establish the Zagrinda plant in Esigodini and I believe that by July next year we will commission the plant and then move to other provinces," said Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a tour of Arda Antelope Estate in Maphisa on Friday.

Speaking earlier at the same event, Arda board chair, Mr Basil Nyabadza said the Esigodini plant was crucial in the value addition arm of Zim-Asset.

"They (Agribank) have granted extra funding to one of our partners. We can say that Esigodini will be running by July next year," he said.

"The project will further transform the fortunes of this province through an outgrower project, which will filter and benefit our people."

The Esigodini project is expected to benefit 3 328 out-growers in Matabeleland region while 2 250 farmers participated in the out-grower programme supplying the Norton facility last year.

BFP is targeting to process at least 20 000 tonnes of fruit with focus on import substitution for tomato paste and other fruit purees as well as export contribution to increase much needed foreign currency earnings for the country.

The company said a total of $3 million was invested at the Norton facility last year in a three phased plant refurbishment programme, which increased plant capacity to 30 000 tonnes per annum.

The late VP Nkomo had a passion to see most rural Zimbabweans empowered through agriculture, value addition and beneficiation.
- online
Tags: Agribank,


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