ZAMBIA – Zambian Breweries Plc has commenced the construction of a malting plant with an initial installed production capacity of 18,000 tonnes per annum.

The plant will be based at the Lusaka South Multi-facility Economic Zone ((LS-MFEZ)

Currently, only seven firms have signed contracts with LS-MFEZ out of 400 enterprises expected to set up base in the zone in the next few years and create jobs for Zambians.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Robert Sichinga, during the ground-breaking ceremony in Lusaka on Tuesday, said the project will create over 12,000 direct agricultural jobs and 120,000 indirect ones.

“I would like to commend Zambian Breweries Plc for being a leader in showing that agribusiness has potential for job creation and could easily be the solution for accelerated economic growth for our country,” he said.

Mr Sichinga said the construction of the plant is expected to contribute to economic growth and skills development, among other things.

He said there is need for those mandated with the power to lobby for business at the zone to promote trade and commercial development at LS-MFEZ.

Earlier, Zambian Breweries Plc managing director Anele Malumo said the US$32.6 million malting plant will have enough capacity to meet local demand with excess exported to regional markets.

Mr Malumo said the plant will save about US$10 million annually in import costs which will in turn be consumed in the local economy by farmers and businesses to enhance the barley value chain.

“As a company, we strongly support the ideals of private sector-led economic development where Government’s key role is to create an enabling environment that promotes and encourages competitive and sustainable growth of the various sectors of the economy.

“We at Zambian Breweries Plc are greatly indebted to the various agencies of Government that have been supportive of our initiatives to, initially, start a barley farming programme and now to construct this malting plant,” he said.

October 27, 2014;