ZIMPLATS Holdings, majority owned by Implats of South Africa, has committed to ramp up its economic participation in Zimbabwe through investments in various sectors of the economy.
Mr Fholisani Mufamadi, the group’s chairman, said this yesterday at the launch of the cattle ranching joint venture project between Zimplats and Palmline Holdings in Mhondoro, Mashonaland West, by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“The joint venture project is confirmation that Zimbabwe has no right to starve with the country endowed with a resilient resource base of platinum. As a group, we will continue to ramp up our participation in the economy,” he said.
The cattle ranching project targets a herd of 10 000 cattle comprising 5000 dairy cattle and 5000 beef while also targeting semen production for both domestic and export markets.
The project also involves the construction of a modular milk parlour with capacity to handle 1 500 cows at one go, as well as processing facilities for export standard Wagyu breed beef.
Mr Mufamadi said taking advantage of the successes of Zimbabwe’s ease of doing business reforms, the group is embarking on a number of PGM development projects, including the US$264 million Mupani Mine Project, with a projected output of 2.2 tonnes of PGMs per annum.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa said the cattle ranching joint venture gives impetus to the fulfilment of the agriculture and food systems transformation strategy which targets attainment of an US$8,2 billion agriculture by 2025. He said the project is a positive
indication of the confidence global and local capital has in the economy and the progressive policies of the Second Republic.
“The project further highlights the potential for harmony between the mining and agriculture sectors. Synergies in these sectors will indeed speedup the realisation of the outcomes outlined in the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS-1) and Vision 2030,” he
The project, which is being spearheaded by the private players, seeks to boost the country’s national herd under the livestock growth plan which aims to achieve the sector’s growth to US$1,9 billion by 2025.
“The fruition of the joint venture is a confirmation that sustainable and inclusive development of our great country is not only the responsibility of the private sector, but development partners and citizens alike.
“In this regard my government through relevant line ministries will work with Zimplats and Palmline Holdings to ensure that the increase in the commercial beef and dairy herd will translate into increased local beef and milk production, beef exports and stronger livestock value chains,” he said.
The beef cattle will consist of a commercial herd for domestic consumption and the high value Wagyu breed for exports and with regards to dairy production the project targets 25 million litres of milk by 2026.
President Mnangagwa also noted that the joint venture project is a positive indication of confidence by local and global financiers on the Second Republic.
He said the country has more than 60 minerals that can be extracted commercially, and the investments by Zimplats that include development of Mupani mine is testimony to the success of ease of doing business reforms by the government.
“These include the platinum group of metals, other precious metals and stones as well as great potential in oil and gas and rare earth elements.”
The President highlighted that the introduction of a dedicated 320 hectares of irrigated pasture is an emerging farming model which guarantees availability of feed for livestock.
“The investment should thus serve as motivation to existing livestock and dairy farmers to scale up their operations. It should also give impetus to further opening up of the sector to other players, including small scale farmers, the youth and women who should claim their market share and improve production methods,” he said.
The President added that in order to ring-fence current and increased investment in agriculture, the government remained committed to support the sector by constantly refining the present conducive policy and operating environment for the sustainable development of the sector.
“As enunciated in the NDS1 this will be undertaken through measures such as strengthening farmer knowledge , skills in livestock production and health , continued rollout of the blitz tick grease application program for the control and eradication of diseases as well as the modernisation and digitalisation of agriculture production systems,” said President Mnangagwa.