Livingstone Marufu Business Reporter
Davipel Group of Companies has invested $12 million to construct snacks producing plants in Sunway City as the firm moves to become a fully-fledged agro-processing group. The establishment of a one stop shop factory, comes after the Government put in place Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which restricted the importation of goods that are abundantly produced locally.
Consequently, the company has managed to break the barriers to become the third largest snack producing company in Sadc.
Davipel managing director Davison Norupiri, told the gathering at the official opening of the factory yesterday that the company will continue to create more jobs for locals and explore new markets in the continent.
“Davipel has invested over $12million on its state-of-the-art-snack producing plants sourced from South Africa and Turkey.
“The establishment of the manufacturing company follows the Government’s clarion call to create employment for the local people and over 400 jobs were created to that effect and thousands others will benefit in the downstream industries,” said Mr Norupiri.
He thanked the Government for enacting SI64 now Statutory Instrument 122 as it has helped many local companies to start producing for the local market and abroad.
Mr Norupiri also highlighted that though local companies need foreign currency allocations, there is need to expand beyond the country’s borders to earn foreign currency.
“At first most people viewed S164 as a draconian law but it has helped us to shrug off competition from cheap foreign imports. We would like the Government to put the tax incentives to local producers to produce more for export markets.
“We would also like the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to place us on top of the priority list so that we can continuously produce enough for the market.
The company is also targeting the African market in the near future due to the proposed opening of African free trade area, which will allow free trade around the continent.
Davipel has also benefited from the Government’s import substitution programme known as the Command Agriculture Programme as its major raw materials, maize was harvested in surplus in 2016/2017 summer cropping season.
Command has helped the company to put more effort in procuring foreign currency for the factory’s equipment rather than the raw materials which are locally available.
Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was the guest of the honour commended Davipel for its ingenuity that saw an additional investment in a milling plant that is one of its kind in the country and will produce feedstock to the processing plant.
“It is pleasing to note that we have indigenous companies who have grasped the value addition, beneficiation and import substitution concepts.
“We need to value add and beneficiate our produce and desist from selling unfinished or semi-finished goods,” said President Mnangagwa.
This will in the long term help the country to reduce its trade deficit and improve balance of payment as the country save the much needed foreign currency.
Davipel could see itself getting some incentives for establishing its business in the Sunway City special economic zone.
Davipel produces Jumbo snacks, Jiggles and Sunny refined mealie meal among other agro-processed products.