ZAMBIA – Zambezi Pineapples Limited has launched a pineapple processing factory in Ikelenge at a cost of about US$160,000 that will create market for over 1,200 smallholder farmers in the area.

The factory is the first of its kind after the collapse of the only pineapple processing plant between 1991 and 1992.

As part of its overall strategy to create markets for smallholder farmers, Musika has provided support to Zambezi Pineapples Limited to acquire the processing equipment that has so far created 15 direct jobs.

Zambezi Pineapples managing director Daniel Rea said the company has also created opportunities for about 180 smallholder farmers to access a continuous market for pineapples.

Mr Rea said Musika’s initial support for dried fruit processing presented an additional opportunity for the company to embark on pineapple juice extraction in 2016, which is now being produced as a by-product.

Officiating at the event, Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya said the factory will open up the area to additional investments as the demand for inputs, reliable transport and banking facilities rises in response to the increased economic activity in the area.

Ms Siliya said in a speech read on her behalf by North-Western Province deputy permanent secretary Alfred Chingi that the opening of the factory in Ikelenge will create the much-needed revenue to support other sectors of the economy.

November 21, 2016;