Dendairy will spend $18 million to buy machinery and properties as the dairy products manufacturer moves to expand its capacity and venture into new products.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Over the past two months, the company has been acquiring land and properties around its Kwekwe plant for expansion purposes. The machinery will be acquired from China, Italy and Turkey as Dendairy moves to establish itself as the premium dairy producer in the country.
Dendairy director Daryl Archibald said the company which recently moved into manufacture of 100% fruit juices was looking into venturing into more product lines to up profits and employment opportunities.
“In the Honde Valley there is a whole bunch of mangoes rotting right now, if they freeze…we will be able to crush and bottle 100% fruit juices right away. We are able at this moment to consume mangoes, strawberries and other fruits, crush them and convert into drink or sauces for the local market,” he said.
The company has already put up massive structures for storage with production levels of milk only having gone up to 9 000 litres per hour working for 10 hours a day.
Dendairy opened in 2004 processing sour milk sold mainly in Redcliff and Kwekwe, but has grown to supply long-life milk in Zimbabwe and has now moved to milk exports to Mozambique especially Tete province.
Dendairy gets most of its raw milk supplies from Gweru and dairy milk farmers from Kwekwe with an employment level from the farms of over 2 000 workers.
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Meanwhile dairy producers in the country have set up a fund amounting to $600 000 to resuscitate the local dairy herd. “As a part of our intervention we committed to putting 10 cents per every litre of milk sold into a fund which will be used to resuscitate the local herd,” Archibald said.
The fund is yet to be disbursed because the mandate of how the money will be used is yet to be signed off by government.
Industry and Commerce deputy minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa confirmed that the fund was available as part of efforts by both the private sector and government to unlock the value chain in an increasingly difficult economic environment.
“We are going at enterprise level trying to unlock the value chain and remove all the bottlenecks, what we are still to do is convince our Zimbabweans to engage in manufacturing or industry, more than in buying and selling,” she said.
Most entrepreneurs in the Zimbabwean economy are known for buying and selling finished products be it secondhand clothing or fake Chinese accessories and electric gadgets on street corners.