Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will at the weekend officially launch the ambitious 4 000 hectares Tongaat Hulett sugar project in Masvingo, which is designed to assist underprivileged members of society.
The giant sugar producer, Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe, said the project, called ‘Kilimanjaro’, was mooted two years ago and is set to provide about 2 000 direct and indirect jobs for the local community.
In a notice to guests and the media, the company confirmed that the project will be “officially launched by President Mnangagwa’’.
The Kilimanjaro project was fully supported by the Government and a consortium of banks led by CABS, ZB Bank, IDBZ and CBZ.
“It entails the immediate development of 3 362 hectares of sugarcane at Hippo Valley and Triangle Estates,” said the company.
“This will make a substantial impact on the lives of previously disadvantaged local communities.”
The company said a further 638 hectares will also be developed once appropriate land has been identified, to bring the total project area to 4 000 hectares of sugarcane.
“The project will create approximately 2 000 direct new jobs and significant economic empowerment opportunities will be realised both up and downstream, particularly to contractors of land preparation machinery, suppliers of key agricultural inputs, transport, housing and other services,” it said.
The massive project is set to turn the lowveld into a green belt as the company increases sugar production both for local and export market. Local sugarcane farmers at Tongaat Hulett contribute at least 30 percent to the company’s total sugar. Production of sugarcane stands at 130 tonnes per hectare. — @walterbmswazie2