Egyptian firm targets fish farms
Mukudzei Chingwere in CAIRO, Egypt
An Egyptian aquaculture behemoth, Evergreen Egypt United, is expected in Zimbabwe to thrash out modalities of setting up of modern fish farms after being impressed by the vast opportunities in the country as presented by Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga.
VP Chiwenga is here for this year’s edition of the Africa Health ExCon and has been taking advantage of his presence here to lure investment back home in line with President Mnangagwa’s thrust that “Zimbabwe is open for business”.
As the world’s sixth best aquaculture producing countries in the world, Egypt has of late been exporting its expertise taking advantage of the growing demand for food and quality nutrition.
Zimbabwe, thanks to its fresh water bodies capacity and the potential to add more, in addition to its improved business environment, has thus become the latest target for the Egyptian firm.
Speaking after meeting the Zimbabwean delegation led by VP Chiwenga, Evergreen Egypt United chairman and chief executive officer Dr Adel Almuslimany said his company was excited at the prospect of investing in Zimbabwe.
“As Evergreen Egypt United, one of the top 100 aquaculture companies in the world, we are so glad at the prospect to corporate with the Zimbabwe Government,” said Dr Almuslimany, “Our target is to elevate the standard of leaving for the people in Zimbabwe by creating a lot of job opportunities in the field of aquaculture.
“(We also target to) help Zimbabwe find a new, clean and cheap protein. We also want to help Zimbabwe to export aquaculture finished products all over the world including in Europe and America where as Evergreen we are already familiar with the market.
“I believe our project will be a real sustainable development project creating more job opportunities and adding to the national reserve fund for Zimbabwe,” he said.
Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr Willard Manungo, who accompanied VP Chiwenga in the meeting with the Egyptian firm, said what they are proposing is to partner Government and local companies in aquaculture development.
The Egyptian firm was impressed by VP Chiwenga’s outline on the country investment incentive framework and structure. While large commercial ventures will be the anchor of the envisaged investment, Evergreen have also shown keenness to extend to smallholder farmers.
Targeting smallholders will go a long way in feeding into President Mnangagwa’s rural industrialisation strategy as laid out in NDS1 and towards an empowered upper-middle income economy by 2030.
“They have experience in Africa and have undertaken similar projects in Tanzania,” said Mr Manungo.
“What they are proposing for Zimbabwe in terms of the presentation they made to the Honourable Vice President is to partner us as Government and some of our enterprises in broadening aquaculture.
“The Vice President indicated the abundance of fresh water bodies within Zimbabwe and all the other ingredients that are available to facilitate aquaculture farming corporation,” said Mr Manungo.
Mr Manungo also noted that extending the project to smallholder farmers will be consistent with what the President has been championing in terms of development and also with an aquaculture demonstration project at the First Family’s Pricabe Farm in Kwekwe.