BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
PLATINUM miner Zimplats Holdings on Thursday handed over a dairy parlour project worth over US$500 000 to the Gwebi College of Agriculture, which will enhance its ability to generate revenue through increased commercial milk sales.
Commissioning the facility, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said the college will also supply neighbouring communities with milk.
“As part of the partnership agreement, Gwebi Agricultural College will empower local communities by taking groups from the community for training on better management of herd health, and for training on the concept of rearing rural cattle for commercial purposes,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka.
“I am reliably informed that Zimplats invested over half a million United States dollars towards infrastructural development and refurbishment of this facility. It is at the back of such investments that we are seeing a positive recovery of the country’s dairy sector,” he said.
The milking parlour has the capacity to milk 64 cows per hour and 300 cows per session.
Palmline Investments also donated 20 Holstein in-calf cows to the college to boost their dairy herd.
Zimplats embarked on a cattle ranching and dairy project through a joint venture project with Palmline Investments that was officially launched by Mnangagwa in Ngezi on 26 August 2021.
Zimplats chief executive officer Alex Mhembere said one of the commitments that they made, at the time, was to establish a milking parlour as part of that project.
“In the interim, until the Palmine Investments milking parlour is fully established, there was a need to provide temporary milking facilities for the dairy cows,” Mhembere said.