ZIMBABWE – Giant Indian distillers of grain alcohol, the NV Group, has partnered with the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) to establish a US$250m brewery in Masvingo, South-Eastern Zimbabwe.

The facility which is expected to be operational in the next one and half years will be built at the Magudu estate owned by ARDA.

It will be fed by raw materials i.e., sorghum, barley and sugar cane produced by contract farmers who will cultivate nearly 5,000 hectares of the estate, benefiting from technical support from ARDA in terms of access to irrigation equipment.

The investment dovetails into the authority’s rural development and industrialisation mandate and is expected to create at least 3,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.

Speaking at the signing of the deal, ARDA chief executive, Mr Tinotenda Mhiko, said it was a game changer on the authority’s new thrust and mandate.

“The deal will drive rural development and industrialisation of rural irrigation scheme farmers and other small-scale farmers who will participate in market-led contract farming.

“This will move our rural farmers from subsistence farming to surplus oriented farming,” he said.

ARDA recently completed its rebranding exercise that has helped the authority re-align its work with the developmental aspirations being pursued by the new dispensation.

With this rebranding, ARDA is going back to basics, ensuring that it carries the mandate that will empower people in rural areas to fight poverty through modernisation and industrialisation of the areas.

Rural farmers have always struggled getting markets for their produce, but ARDA has started to facilitate transformative linkages for funding and marketing of produce from the rural irrigation schemes.

This latest deal with NV Group falls into this category where rural farmers will benefit through providing their produce for distilling at the brewery.

“This initiative will benefit the entire population thanks to the revenue that will be generated for the State. We thank the authorities for this opportunity and we look forward to starting the work,” said Varun Jain, Managing Director of NV Group.

NV Group is one of the largest grain spirit distillers in India and has added an impressive alcoholic beverages bouquet in its portfolio during the 25 years of its existence.

It has become a pioneer in the industry, presenting the finest blends that are irresistibly smooth and mellow, such as Smoke Lab Vodka, Royal Envy, Blue Moon, among others.

The company has a long-term business association with groups such as Pernod Ricard India, Bacardi and Cutty Sark.

The group also supplies international markets like the United States, Singapore, The UAE, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Namibia, Bahrain and Zambia.

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