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Schweppes to invest $10m into fruit processing in Esigodini

by Staff reporter
17 Mar 2017 at 06:35hrs | Views
SCHWEPPES Zimbabwe's Norton Based fruit processing subsidiary, Best Fruit Processors (BFP), says its board of directors has approved a $10 million investment to establish a similar operation at Esigodini, Matabeleland Province South, this year.

BFP has already commissioned its nascent fruit processing plant in Norton. The firm is targeting 20 000 tonnes of raw fruit this year, but the plant has installed capacity of 30 000 tonnes annually.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya toured the Norton plant yesterday in the company of officials from his bank and other banks namely Agribank and CBZ Bank.

He pledged to support the project through RBZ and local banks, as it fitted into the bank's current mantra for productivity as the solution to the country's economic challenges, including boosting export earnings and creating new jobs.

The firm's Norton plant processes, for value addition, a range of fruits namely tomatoes, mangos, guavas and passion fruit. A total of 2 400 tonnes of mostly tomatoes, but also guavas and mangos were processed during the pilot run last year. But board chairperson Nicholas Ncube said BFP is targeting a total of 3 328 out growers in Matabeleland under the $10 million new plant investment project to be constructed at Esigodini.

"Significant progress has been made in stabilising the value chains at the Norton plant to enable the key lessons to be applied to the Esigodini project. Preliminary works for the new processing plant, agronomy assessments and out grower mobilisation is planned to commence quarter," Mr Ncube said.

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Source - herald