ZAMBIA – The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the national development finance institution is set to inject K17 million (US$1 million) in revamping the Mununshi Banana Estate in Mwense, Luapula province, Zambia.

Mununshi Banana estate went under shortly after being privatized to a local investor who is said to have had limited experience in management of Agro firms.

According to a report by Zambian Business Times, the organization is in the process of planting the first 50 hectares of banana’s and has so far directly employed about 40 people.

Zambia currently has a banana deficit estimated at about 11,000 tons per annum which provides immediate advantages for local production and investment in the sub-sector.

IDC Chief Executive Officer Mateyo Kaluba, revealed that the expected production per year from the revamped estate is 6,500 tons and that the corporation intends to push the hectares of bananas cultivation to 330 hectares and reach 730 ha in the next 3 years.

The scheme will also offer an out-grower scheme for people in the surrounding areas in a bid to expand production, creating business and employment opportunities for the local community.

“We are also going to take advantage of the export market particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC which is nearby. We have roads now between Luapula province and the northern Province from Kasama, so we expect that it will open up a serious export market for us and bring in additional foreign exchange,” Mateyo said.

He stated that the organization is in the process of recruiting a qualified management team for what will now be called the Mununshi Fruit Company that will in the near future, see the company diversify into production of other fruits like Avocados.

“So, once the company is up and running, the new management team will begin to identify other fruits with high demand for both the local and export markets given that management skill, expertise and infrastructure will already be provided,” he said.

IDC portfolio is in two-fold where it is the majority shareholder i.e. the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and minority shareholder i.e. the Investee Companies.

Companies in the agriculture and manufacturing sector that IDC has stake in include the Zampalm project launched in 2009 and Superior Milling Company.

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