Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
A LOCAL investor, Gredcorp has poured US$1,5 million into a 50-hectare pecan nut project that began in August last year at Valley Irrigation Scheme in Kezi, Matabeleland South province.
The project is a joint venture agreement between Gredcorp and villagers who are members of the Valley Irrigation Scheme.
Gredcorp managing director Mr Deane Le Roux said they have planted 19 800 pecan nut trees and the project is expected to generate foreign currency as pecans have the best market in China.
“We are looking at close to one and half million United States dollars having been poured into the project to date.
“The project will benefit the community in a very big way, obviously it will take time eight years before we get our first revenue from it,” he said in an interview after the launch of the 2021 Winter Wheat Programme in Matabeleland South at Valley Irrigation Scheme by Agritex acting director, Mr Stancilae Tapererwa who was representing Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka.
Pecan production is poised to become an industry with potential to change the economic landscape particularly in Matabeleland South and North provinces, where considerable progress has been made to establish the deciduous tree orchards.
Pecans can be processed to make pecan edible pressed oil. The nuts are becoming increasingly popular as a crunchy and nutritious snack in Asia, particularly China. [email protected]