M a r k e t N e w s

Nestle Invests U.S $30 Million On Capex

Posted on : Wednesday, 2nd December 2015

Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter SWISS food giant, Nestle Zimbabwe, says it has invested $30 million over the past four years towards ramping up production capacity and enhancing efficiency.

Nestle South cluster manager Mr Ben Ndiaye, said the investment in capital operations was also a statement to affirm commitment to Zimbabwe.
Mr Ndiaye made the remarks in an interview after an event to hand a total of 100 dairy cows to small-scale farmers in Zvimba.
The capital was spent on cereal roller dryers, (raising production efficiency threefold), glucose silos, 750Kva generator, administration and quality assurance (state-of-the-art laboratory) block, Milo manufacturing, water treatment, milk power and Cremora plants.
"We have a factory in Southerton which we have recently refurbished to increase capacity and strengthen our commitment to Zimbabwe. With this investment, we now have a strong competitive advantage. We are unique, as the only company in Zimbabwe able to process fresh milk into powder milk," Mr Ndiaye said.
Mr Ndiaye said the investment in powder milk production was key, as it provides the country with internal capacity to reduce imports. As such, Nestle is also investing towards local fresh milk production.
The food processing company gets all its 5 million litres of annual raw milk intake from local farmers it has assisted to set up dairy farms.
He said the goal was to develop local economies and work in alignment with Government's medium term economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.
On Saturday, Nestle handed over 100 pregnant dairy heifers to 20 beneficiaries, in Chitomborwizi, Zvimba district, under its shared value programme through partnership with local development association, the Chitomborwizi Network Farmers.
The initiative will complement efforts by its large-scale dairy farmers.
Mr Ndiaye said the new dairy project will empower the local community through the share value thrust characteristic of Nestle's global footprint, including in Zimbabwe where it has operated for 56 years.
"Both the Chitomborwizi farmers and Nestle Zimbabwe are set to benefit greatly from this (diary development) project. Most important is that farmers will be economically empowered through Nestle purchasing the milk for further processing to make well known quality brands like Nestle Everyday and Nido milk powders," he said.
The farmers are part of a total of 110 small- scale farmers Nestle has trained in the last two years. Nestle has committed to roll out the model of the Chitomborwizi scheme, if successful, to other districts.
Farmers under the dairy empowerment scheme will be supported through the Nestle Agricultural Services team on the ground to further guide the farmers on how to grow maize for silage used as feed.
Speaking at the event, chairman Mr Kumbirai Katsande said that the objective of the dairy empowerment scheme is to contribute to national development of the dairy industry by supporting large and small farmers.
Chitomborwizi Network chairperson Mr Peter Muzariri said Nestle's Dairy Empowerment Scheme plays a significant role in the value chain in agriculture from stock feed production, value addition of the milk, local consumption of milk and generation of exports.
Mr Muzariri said that agriculture provides employment to about 65 percent of Zimbabwe's population while small-scale farmers in the past used to account for 80 percent of Zimbabwe's food production.
"This project creates an opportunity for financial institutions, non-governmental organisations and Government to foster an enabling environment for sustainable smart partnerships to empower local communities."
In a speech read on his behalf by secretary for agriculture Ringson Chitsiko, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said the project would help the area diversify from predominant production of maize and tobacco to dairy.
The minister added that reviving the dairy industry was "indeed Zim-Asset at play" and echoed President Mugabe's State of the Nation Address.
"This project will certainly contribute positively to the increase in local supplies of milk and besides creating wealth and employment to the local community, the dairy project will also contribute to the elimination of imports," he said.
The minister said the dairy project was in line with the Zim-Asset 2014-2018 first pillar of food security and nutrition.

Source : allafrica.com
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