State seeks pineapple cannery partner

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GOVERNMENT is pondering the prospect of entering into a joint venture deal with the private sector in a bid to revive the defunct pineapple cannery in Mwinilunga District of North-Western Province.
Agriculture Minister Wylbur Simuusa said in an interview that entering into a Public Private Partnership (PPP), would enable the shareholders invest heavily into the processing plant that would encourage value addition.
Mr Simuusa said the Zambian pineapple sector had faced sustainability challenges since the collapse of the processing industry and preventing most farmers from growing the fruit on large-scale basis.
“The revival of that cannery in Mwinilunga will re invigorate the pineapple industry and boost the economy at regional and national level.
Government is obviously looking to the private sector to revive the business and a joint venture partnership could also be one model of revitalising the factory,” he said.
Mr Simuusa said Government was promoting the growth of facilities like farm blocs to boost production of crops that when processed, can earn the country revenue on the export market.
“With the Industrial Development Commission coming on stream, Government will have the capacity to establish facilities like a pineapple cannery in areas where the fruit is predominantly grown, to encourage value addition, promote job and wealth creation for the people,” Mr Simuusa said.

 

Times of Zambia

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