President Edgar Lungu says the newly-launched and revamped Zamanita plant in Lusaka looks set to restore and even exceed its glory days of strong performance.

Speaking when he launched and commissioned the Zamanita plant in Lusaka’s Industrial area, Tuesday, President Lungu said the company, which was now owned by the Export Trading Group and the Parrogate Group of companies, had invested around US $35 million to resume its operations.

The Head of State hailed the Group of companies for resuming its operations, saying that its earlier stalled status had affected several of its employees’ livelihoods.

“The resumption of Zamanita is a significant step in as far as the development of industry in Zambia is concerned. Therefore, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the export trading group and Parrogate Group of companies for taking this bold step to expand its investment and resume operations at the Zamanita plant. Many of you may recall that towards the end of the year 2018, Cargill announced the closure of operations at this factory. The closure resulted in the loss of over 250 direct jobs, which negatively affected the livelihoods of the former employees and those dependent on them,” President Lungu said.

“The re-launch of Zamanita, therefore, gives me great happiness; and it is a show of commitment by Export Trading Group and Parrogate Group of companies. The Group of companies have invested about US $35 million to resume operations at Zamanita and restore the plant to its former glory and even better.”
He assured private sector companies that government would continue working with them to create a conducive business environment for them.

“I am aware of the numerous challenges faced by investors in various sectors. I, therefore, wish to take this opportunity to assure you that government will continue to work with you, the private sector, to create a conducive business environment. There is no doubt that with the re-launch of the Zamanita plant and continued dialogue between the public and private sectors, Zambia is poised to be a major exporter of edible oils and other products from cotton, soya beans, and maize. I further wish to reiterate that government will continue to work closely with the private sector to implement projects that are aimed at contributing to the development of our country and stir business growth,” President Lungu added.

President Lungu also commended the Parrogate Group of companies for working with around 80,000 smallholder farmers in Zambia in the cotton value chain by providing farmer inputs.

“…The Parrogate Group of companies is directly working with around 80,000 smallholder farmers in the cotton value chain, to whom the group is providing inputs for successful cotton growing and extension support,” President Lungu said.

He encouraged the Group to continue working with local residents, especially in rural areas, by providing a ready market for their farm produce.

“Furthermore, the company is providing market solutions to tens of thousands of smallholder growers in the maize and soya bean value chains in Eastern, Muchinga, Central and Southern provinces, sourcing over 75,000 metric tonnes of soya beans and over 30,000 metric tonnes of maize from the farmers,” President Lungu said.

And the Head of State said there had been a notable increase of Non-Traditional Export (NTE) products of around K27 million as at November, 2019, compared to K14.8 million in 2015.

“…Additionally, the Non-Traditional Export share of the total exports increased from 21.9 per cent in January, 2019, to 31.9 per cent in November of the same year,” said President Lungu.

The Zamanita plant that was re-launched and commissioned, Tuesday, was the second soya bean crushing plant under the Export Trading Group and Parrogate Group of companies in the country.