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Voedsel expedites US$20m tobacco processing plant construction

Voedsel expedites US$20m tobacco processing plant construction


Voedsel Tobacco International is expediting the construction of a US$20m tobacco processing plant in Beatrice as part of efforts to value add the golden leaf.

The company’s investment is in line with the government’s Tobacco Transformation Plan, which aims to grow the Zimbabwean tobacco industry to $5bn by 2023 by increasing the level of value-added tobacco to 30% from the current 2%.

Voedsel managing director Tennyson Hwandi said the plant will be the first of its kind as it will handle more than 40m kilogrammes annually.

“This US$20m plant will be the first black owned tobacco plant and will help the local firms process their tobacco before the final sale.

“This will be the fourth tobacco processing plant in the country but owned by locals with local resources.

“This plant has a potential to go toe to toe with multinationals’ tobacco processing plants,” Hwandi said.

“This process involves beneficiating the tobacco from its state into a semi-finished product. It also means that there is going to be more earnings for the farmers as we grow the value chain. As an indigenous company, we are proud to have achieved this as this creates new jobs.”

Hwandi said the plant is a testament of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030.

“This plant will serve to accomplish the vision of President Mnangagwa of an upper middle income economy by 2030 using the Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo mantra, ” he said.

According to Hwandi, more than 1000 jobs will be created.

Hwandi said the plant is expected to start operations by December.

This is part of the company’s broad strategic vision guided by the TVCTP (Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan), which seeks to boost national economic benefits through value addition.

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