INDUSTRY and Commerce minister, Mike Bimha, will tomorrow commission Nestlé Zimbabwe’s Cremora and milk powders plant, as part of the $30 million that was committed for the factory’s upgrade in the past four years.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
Speaking on the sidelines of the handover ceremony of 100 dairy cows to farmers in Chitomborwizi on Saturday, Nestlé south cluster manager, Ben Ndiaye, said in investing in the factory, the company was thinking of long-term objectives, considering the dairy empowerment schemes, which will result in increased production of milk that they will then process.
“We invested $30m for the refurbishment of the factory to increase capacity, as well as milk processing. We have now completed the last part of the refurbishment process this year,” he said.
The $30m has been invested in cereal roller dryers and output has increased threefold, a 750KVA generator, an administration and a quality assurance block, a state-of-the-art laboratory, Milo manufacturing plant, improved water reticulation, and in the milk and powder plant.
Meanwhile, the company has spent $9m on the diary revolving fund that it launched in 2011 and expects to spend more on capacitating small holder farmers with dairy cows.
The company’s plan was to invest $14m over seven years on the dairy empowerment scheme.
Ndiaye said the Nestlé dairy empowerment scheme touches on nutrition, rural development and water. He said farmers will be economically empowered through Nestle purchasing the milk for further processing. The 100 dairy cows were given to 20 farmers in Chitomborwizi out of the 110 farmers, who went through training.
“Nevertheless, the handover of these 100 dairy cows is not the end of the project, as the Nestlé agricultural services team will remain on the ground to further guide the framers on the growing of maize for silage, which is one of the key factors to make the project a success,” he said.
Ndiaye said the purchased stock feed constitutes 60% to 70% of the cost of a litre of milk and the production cost can be drastically reduced if purchased stock feed is substituted by maize silage.