ZIMBABWE – Davipel Group of Companies, an agro-processing firm has invested US$12 million to construct two state-of-the-art snack facilities as it builds mileage in snacking, milling and feed production.

Launched by President Mnangagwa, the facilities come handy following the government’s control on imports under Statutory Instrument 64 (SI 64) of 2016, a legislation that requires traders to obtain an import permit from government before importing basic commodities.

The aim of the strategy is to enhance local production while restricting importation of goods that are abundantly produced locally.

According to the Herald, with the investments, the company has become the third largest snack producing company in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

In its portfolio, Davipel manufactures snacks and soya chunks among others and the company plans on future investments that will also enable jobs creation and exploration of new markets in the continent.

“Davipel has invested over $12million on its state-of-the-art-snack producing plants sourced from South Africa and Turkey.

“The establishment of the manufacturing company follows the Government’s clarion call to create employment for the local people and over 400 jobs were created to that effect and thousands others will benefit in the downstream industries,” said Davipel managing director Davison Norupiri.

He said that the SI 64 was important for local and international production and there was need for government to allocate foreign currency to local producers for them to produce more for export markets.

Norupiri also called on Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to put them on priority list even as it looks towards the opening of African free trade area, which will allow free trade around the continent.

The company has benefited from the government’s import substitution programme, Command Agriculture Programme, enabling it source locally produced raw materials and procure foreign currency for equipment.

Commenting on the matter, President Mnangagwa said, “It is pleasing to note that we have indigenous companies who have grasped the value addition, beneficiation and import substitution concepts.

“We need to value add and beneficiate our produce and desist from selling unfinished or semi-finished goods.”

Davipel, producer of Jumbo snacks, Jiggles and Sunny refined mealie meal among other agro-processed products has also invested in a US$8 million milling plant in a cost-cutting initiative as it focuses on investing in value addition.

The 120 tonnes per day agri-milling plant will produce maize grit, bran and maize meal, corn flour as by-products.