Tawanda Mangoma in CHIREDZI
President Mnangagwa will this weekend officially launch the US$40 million Kilimanjaro sugar cane project in Chiredzi that will see Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe opening over 3 000 hectares of virgin land into cane fields.
The project has already started and is expected to be completed by September next year.
The fields will be handed over to Government for allocation to indigenous out-grower farmers on a cost recovery basis.
The Kilimanjaro Project is expected to increase sugar output in Zimbabwe earning the country more foreign currency.
President Mnangagwa has repeatedly said the country was open for business while exhorting foreign investors to come to Zimbabwe and open shop taking advantage of the conducive business operating environment created by the Second Republic.
Speaking here on Monday ahead of President Mnangagwa’s visit, Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira said the province was geared to host the President who will officially launch the Kilimanjaro project.
“We are very delighted as Masvingo Province that his Excellency the President of Zimbabwe Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa will be in Chiredzi for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kilimanjaro Project,” he said.
“This is a very important moment for us as a province as we will be witnessing the official launch of a project that will give us more jobs, revenue and empowerment to the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe.”
He said the President will also tour the Lowveld winter maize project that has been cushioning the province from food shortages.
“We are also happy that the President will have an opportunity to tour the winter maize project here which the Masvingo Development Trust and Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe have been doing for the past five or so years,” he said.
“This is an important project for us as it provides a remedy to the recurrent food shortages which have been affecting us as a province due to drought. We have 327ha of maize which we expect to harvest soon.”
The winter maize project has helped to cushion the province from effects of successive droughts.
Both the winter maize project and Kilimanjaro sugar expansion initiative have earned Tongaat plaudits as testament of the firm’s commitment for a win-win scenario with the people of Zimbabwe.