Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Government urged to approve $40 million Tongaat project

Government urged to approve $40 million Tongaat project


Tongaat Hulett

Tongaat Hulett

Harare Bureau
Government has been urged to give Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe, the green light to invest $40 million to turn 4 000 hectares of virgin land into cane fields, which will boost sugar output.

Besides ramping up aggregate sugar production in Zimbabwe, the project, dubbed “Kilimanjaro Sugarcane Expansion, is billed to create over 3 500 direct jobs upon completion.

Under the project, Tongaat intends to develop new cane fields for allocation to over 200 indigenous out-grower farmers if Government avails land in the Lowveld.

Chiredzi West Member of Parliament Cde Darlington Chiwa on Tuesday said Government should accept the offer by Tongaat that would transform the Lowveld.

We are very optimistic that the planned opening of new cane estates will unlock job opportunities for our youths while also increasing the country’s sugar output hence earning more foreign currency for the country,’’ he said.

“If Government gives Tongaat the go-ahead to implement the Kilimanjaro Sugarcane Expansion Project in Hippo Valley and Triangle, the move will undoubtedly stimulate a lot of economic activities in the Lowveld and surrounding areas. We are looking forward to roll out of this $40 million project.’’

The project stalled under mysterious circumstances in 2014 after only 203ha out of the targeted 4000ha had been developed.

Tongaat managing director Mr Sydney Mtsambiwa recently told members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and Agriculture during a tour in Chiredzi that his firm remained committed to the Kilimanjaro Sugarcane Expansion Project.

Cde Chiwa exhorted Government to seize the opportunity presented by Tongaat to empower more indigenous farmers who are set to benefit from the project as cane out-growers.

Chiredzi is the country’s sugar production hub and we can’t hide from it. Preliminary indications are that more than 3 500 direct jobs will be created under this expansion project in areas such as land clearance, canal construction, cane planting and harvesting and finally processing of sugarcane,” he said.

Cde Chiwa expressed optimism that under the new political dispensation in the country, Tongaat would get clearance to roll out the Kilimanjaro project.

Mr Mtsambiwa told members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture that Tongaat was ready to start work.

“Tongaat proposes to continue with the Kilimanjalo Sugarcane Expansion project, which was stopped in 2014 after only 203 hectares had been developed. Further to this, a net total of 3393 hectares are to be opened for the benefit of small scale sugarcane out-growers in Chiredzi that represents an investment of some $40 million,’’ he said.

“The 203 hectares were completed under a budget of $2,4 million from bush clearing to crop establishment and maintenance until harvest. The 3 393 hectares out-grower sugarcane development is set to be completed in 2019, said Mr Mtsambiwa.

Tongaat plans to increase sugar production to over one million tonnes over the next few years from the current average of about 490 000 tonnes.


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