MOZAMBIQUE – A private investment firm in Mozambique has broken ground on a US$4.8 million coconut processing plant in Zambézia Province, an extensive coconut belt in the country, with vast plantations spread across its picturesque landscapes.

The state-of-the-art coconut processing plant with the capacity to process 20,000 coconuts a day will process coconuts to produce cooking oil, coconut water, coconut milk, coconut fiber, and copra.

The project is being installed in an area of over 50,000 square meters in the village of Guruai, Mocubela district, in the north of the province.

Local Newsrooms point out that the funds for the construction of the factory come from East Agro, a subsidiary of Tazetta Resources, a Russian mining firm, which also operates in the heavy sands sector in the district of Pebane.

The Governor of Zambezia, Pio de Matos, said that the establishment of a coconut processing plant in Zambézia brings promising prospects for job creation and sustainable economic growth.

It is anticipated that the coconut processing complex will employ around 500 permanent and 4,000 seasonal workers.

Additionally, it is expected to stimulate a range of related industries, such as packaging, transportation, and marketing, thus fostering a holistic economic ecosystem.

Power supply to the complex will be implemented by the Tazetta company within the scope of its social responsibility agenda.

In Mozambique, coconut plantations occupy an area of more than 84,600 hectares. According to FAO data, the southern African country produced more than 246,300 tonnes of the nut in 2021.

Additional data from the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network show that coconut in Mozambique is mostly grown along the coast. Coconut production is mainly a family-based enterprise with more than 60% of the stands located in small landholdings.

It is estimated that about 14% of the Mozambican population depends on the crop as their main source of income and nutrition or food.

The retail price range for Mozambique coconuts in July is between US$2 and US$6 per kilogram or between US$0.91 and US$2.72 per pound(lb).

In 2022, Madal Group, an agro-industrial company based in the Zambezia Province, signed a protocol with Zambeze University for the joint implementation of an integrated coconut palm repopulation project covering the districts of Chinde, Maganja da Costa, Inhassunge, Pebane, and Nicoadala.

The repopulation project aimed at covering over 31,000 hectares (76,602 acres) of coconut plantations in the five districts.

“The protocol we just signed will allow us to carry out research into the causes of lethal yellowing and define solutions, returning Zambézia to its status as the largest coconut producer in the country,” Madal Group administrator João Lameiras stressed.

“We want these actions to result in community growth and equitable and integrated improvements in the gross domestic product (GDP) and local infrastructure so that we have sustainable gains in income, education, and opportunities in economic alternatives.”

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.