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320 jobs created in Maphisa

by Staff Reporter
08 Aug 2017 at 07:33hrs | Views
ABOUT 320 jobs have been created at the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) Antelope Estate in Maphisa, Matobo District, alone through revitalised agricultural production, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

More jobs are set to be created along the value chain when the establishment of a $750 million processing plant in the area is completed. Speaking to journalists during a tour of the flagship estate last Friday, the Acting President said the partnership between Arda and Trek Petroleum has proved that Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce enough food for her people including servicing the export market. The estate has produced 4.416 metric tonnes of maize from 480ha in the last season.

Acting President Mnangagwa, who was accompanied by ministers and senior Government officials, conducted a tour of the impressive 668ha winter wheat crop at the farm as well as a newly established warehouse where processing equipment will be installed.

"This Arda farm, as well as the next one in Ingwizi (Mangwe), are our pilot projects under Command Agriculture. We are so elated and happy about progress these two farms are achieving. When we began the programme we had around 250ha on each of the two farms, now this is the third season and we now at 750ha. The programme is that we intend to have 1 000ha here and another at Ingwizi, which will give us 2 000ha of irrigable land for summer and winter cropping. Just look at the beauty of the crop, the manager expects 6,2t per ha but they are likely to exceed that with this type of crop," he said.

"This has also created employment. This establishment alone saw over 320 young people from around this area being employed. So, its bringing American dollars kurusevha (to villages). This is very important. But at the end of the day we need villagers around here, the ordinary households, they should be encouraged by what is happening now."

Businessman, Mr Ken Drummond, from Sunset Milling Company, told the visiting delegation his company would soon be installing processing equipment at Maphisa Business Centre on a phase basis.

"We are investing $750 000 into the project in three phases of $250 000 each. We are starting with maize meal and stock feed processing. The second phase will be soya bean and oil extraction and the third will be wheat and flour milling," he said.

"We have completed the warehouse. This project will assist in creating more jobs here as well as skills retention."

Acting President Mnangagwa said he was impressed with progress made so far and said the Government would be championing more of such projects across the country to empower ordinary Zimbabweans.

He said the Command Livestock Scheme, whose financing model has been completed, as well as fruit processing investments similar to the one in Norton and Esigodini, would also add impetus to economic development.

"Zimbabwe must again go back to its bread basket status of the region, we have that capacity. In terms of value addition, we are saying we have done well in terms of production and now we need to look at processing.

"All processing should be done here and then marketing in Bulawayo," said the Acting President.

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Source - Chronicle
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