ZAMBIA – The Zambian Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in partnership with Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) and National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), have partnered to invest K100 million (US$5.5 million) to establish the Kalene Hills Fruit Company in Mwinilunga, North-West of Zambia.

“We have joined hands with NAPSA and IDC to establish the Mwinilunga Kalene Hills Fruit Processing plant. The three institutions will invest K100 million (US$5.5m) in that project and it will be commissioned this year in October 2020,” said WCFCB Head of Communications and Customer Service Maybin Nkholomba

Nkholomba disclosed that the fruit processing plant having seven production lines will not be restricted to processing pineapple juice, the main fruit produced in that region.

It will also undertake the processing of a medley of fruits to include oranges, mangoes, as well mineral water, reports Zambian Business Times.

Furthermore, he said that the Kalene fruit processing plant will be a major

Once operational, it will create about 200 direct jobs and 7,000 indirect jobs while an estimated 3,000 small-scale farmers would access the out growers’ scheme.

Apart from processing mineral water and juice, the processing plant will also be able to produce tomato paste and the products which will be for both the local and international market.

“When those fruits are taken there, they will be processed into fruit juice, fruit paste and dried fruits mainly. Things like tomato paste will also be products that the plant would deliver. The products will be intended for both the local market and export,” Nkholomba said.

The national development finance institution, IDC is also injecting K17 million (US$1 million) in revamping the Mununshi Banana Estate in Mwense, Luapula province, Zambia.

Mununshi Banana estate went under shortly after being privatized to a local investor who is said to have had limited experience in management of Agro firms.

According to a report by Zambian Business Times, the organization is in the process of planting the first 50 hectares of banana’s and has so far directly employed about 40 people.

Zambia currently has a banana deficit estimated at about 11,000 tons per annum which provides immediate advantages for local production and investment in the sub-sector.

IDC Chief Executive Officer Mateyo Kaluba, revealed that the expected production per year from the revamped estate is 6,500 tons and that the corporation intends to push the hectares of bananas cultivation to 330 hectares and reach 730 ha in the next 3 years.

The scheme will also offer an out-grower scheme for people in the surrounding areas in a bid to expand production, creating business and employment opportunities for the local community.

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