Russia $34 million deal – Grain processor seeks GMB partnership
Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Russian government has pledged a $34 million partnership with the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) with the deal set for finalisation in Harare tomorrow.
Saleh Abbas, the commercial director of Sovocrim, a Russian company that specialises in grain processing, told Business Chronicle yesterday his country was keen to exploit opportunities in Zimbabwe’s food sector.
The company is participating at the on-going Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo. He said Sovocrim was keen to partner GMB in building an industrial complex in Harare and finance the purchase of top of the range equipment that will assist the storage and milling of different products.
Abbas also said the Russian government will assist GMB with chemicals to treat all kinds of grain.
He said the project was expected to assist the GMB to store enough grain for the nation and ensure food security.
“Our director was in Zimbabwe in October last year to discuss this project with the GMB. We offered to construct an industrial complex for the GMB in Harare and the Russian government agreed to finance the whole project.
“The project also involves the supply of equipment and machinery. The equipment includes a storage elevator that has a capacity of 50,000 tonnes. The elevator can store other kinds of cereals.
‘‘The consignment also includes a 300 tonne mill for wheat and a 500 tonne mill for maize,” said Abbas.
He said the project would kick off once a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the two governments.
The Russians are exhibiting for the first time at the ZITF.
Abbas said they were happy to be part of the ZITF and wanted to prove to the people of Zimbabwe and other countries that it was a misconception that Russia only exports raw material and mineral resources.
“We’ve high value added goods and very competitive international services. Russia has historically been a world leader in nuclear, aerospace and some other technologies and today it continues to evolve and compete for leadership in technology.
“The attractive products manufactured in Russia include power generation and transmission equipment, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, mining exploration and beneficiation equipment, machinery and production equipment as well as motor vehicles and buses.
“Other products we’re good at manufacturing are railway transport and equipment, aerial vehicles and equipment, passenger and cargo ships and vessels, chemicals and fertilisers, nuclear generation, engineering tools and precision equipment,” said Abbas.
He said Russia also has the most efficient IT-services, power engineering services, procurement and construction of transport, power and pipeline infrastructure as well as legal services.
“I’m confident that we’ll be able to clinch quite a number of deals with different companies in Zimbabwe. We produce quality goods and efficient services and our prices are attractive,” said Abbas.