$1 million milling plant for Maphisa

$1 million milling plant for Maphisa
Published: 24 January 2016 (713 Views)
AGRICULTURAL Rural Development Authority (Arda) and its partner Trek will set an estimated $1 million mealie meal milling plant and silos at Maphisa Growth Point in Kezi, Matabeleland South as part of pushing value addition as espoused in the country's economic blue print Zim Asset.

The two companies entered into a partnership which has seen the revival of Arda Antelope in Maphisa and Ingwizi in Mangwe.

Although the exact figures could not be ascertained, Mr Graeme Edwards an official with Trek and who is in charge of the setting up of the milling plant and silos said an estimated $1 million will be used for the project.

Arda Antelope estate manager Mr Alec Chinyai revealed that they were working with the Matobo Rural District Council on the site for the silos and the plant.

"Machinery for the mill plant and silos will be delivered to the site beginning next week (this week) and it includes driers, milling equipment as well as silo material. Value addition of our maize crop from both estates will be done here at Maphisa Growth Point," said Mr Chinyai.

He said the project would benefit the community as it also translates to employment creation in the area. Mr Chinyai said at Arda Antelope 520ha of commercial maize was planted under the centre pivot irrigation being used at the farm and an estimated 4 000 tonnes are expected.

"Of the 520ha under irrigation, 400ha is now at the maturing stage while the remainder, 120ha is flowering. We will be harvesting from around 15 March and this will be six to eight tonnes per hectare," said Mr Chinyai.

He said part of the grain to be harvested was destined for National Foods.

Last year in November, a feed mixing plant was set up at the Antelope estate. Mr Chinyai said the wheat stover from the winter crop was mixed at the farm and prepared as animal feed for the cattle at Maphaneni Ranch in Kezi where Trek partnered with the Cold Storage Company.

"The same will be done with the maize stalks, they will be mixed and fed to the animals at Maphaneni," he said.

Arda board chairman Mr Basil Nyabadza said additional land would be opened for the next season as part of the expansion programme. He said the authority was inviting investment into its estates.

"We have begun the process of luring investors for that project and we are inviting both local and regional investors to come through. We have seen a high interest in the sector especially from the region mainly because as a country we have a steady currency while regional currencies like the kwacha and rand are losing value.

A turnaround of farming activities in all our estates will be done and will definitely be beneficial for the country's economy," said Mr Nyabadza.

Commenting on the setting up of a milling plant in Maphisa, Mr Nyabadza said it only made sense to process the maize from both Antelope and Ingwizi estates in the region instead of transporting the produce to Bulawayo or Harare.

"The community should benefit from the farms in their area and value addition is one such component of ensuring that people see rural development in motion," said Mr Nyabadza.



- sundaynews

Tags: Maphisa,
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