ZAMBIA – The Zambian Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is set to inaugurate the K160 million (US$8.8m) Katete Tropical Fruit processing plant in May this year.
This was revealed by Katete District Commissioner (DC), Joseph Makukula disclosing that the factory’s equipment sourced from India are in transit and will be soon installed in readiness for commencement of operation.
Located at the mango-rich region, the facility is aimed to curb wastage of fruits by providing a ready market for farmers, to produce fruit pulp and juices.
Once operational, it will create 200 jobs, with recruitment phase for 70 workers having already commenced.
Priority is being given to the people of Katete District with exception of technical personnel that may not be available within the district, reports Lusaka Times.
According to the District Commissioner, the fruit processing plant was initially supposed to be commissioned in October 2020, but the COVID-19 disruptions held back the project.
Other than Katete Fruit Processing plant, IDC is also developing the Kalene Hills Fruit Company in Mwinilunga, North-West of Zambia.
The project is undertaken in partnership with Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) and National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), with an investment of K100 million (US$5.5 million).
The fruit processing plant having seven production lines will not be restricted to processing pineapple juice, the main fruit produced in that region.
It will also undertake the processing of a medley of fruits to include oranges, mangoes, as well mineral water.
The national development finance institution, IDC is also injecting K17 million (US$1 million) in revamping the Mununshi Banana Estate in Mwense, Luapula province.
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.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Cooperative Federation has completed the installation of all the Presidential Solar Milling plants countrywide.
ZCF Director General James Chirwa says the installation of the 1683 solar mills is a launch pad for rural industrialization and economic growth.
The installed plants, 30 are for rice processing while the rest are for maize.
Mr Chirwa explained that people in the rural areas will not only benefit from the plants through maize grinding and will soon have their houses connected to power from the panels.
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