By Blessings Chidakwa
Kadoma — The economic policies put in place under the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa has charmed an Indian investor who has set aside $200 million for investment in Mashonaland West’s agricultural sector, which will create 5 000 jobs.
President Mnangagwa has, through the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra, set the tone for attracting serious investment in Zimbabwe’s three pillars of the economy — agriculture, mining and tourism.
The established Indian businessman – Mr Harinder Pal Singh Bajwa — spent two months exploring business opportunities in Zimbabwe prior to the July 30 harmonised elections.
Mr Bajwa met Sable Chicken group chief executive Mr Sean Eastwood and the Zanu-PF provincial leadership in Chegutu to discuss his immediate investment plans in the area.
Some of the projects are expected to start at the beginning of next year, with one of Mr Bajwa’s investment vehicles, Flamingo Farms, moving into citrus production including mango, banana and potato seed.
“I want to invest $200 million for a start into horticulture, majoring in vegetables and orchards,” he said
“It will be a joint venture with local farmers in areas like Chegutu, Chakari and Kadoma.
“In terms of empowering these farmers, we will share the proceeds equally after expenses. We have land currently being prepared in Chakari.”
Mr Bajwa said there were also plans to set up a fruit processing plant in Chegutu.
“In terms of employment, we are targeting about 1 000 people per each farm in Chakari and we have five of them,” he said.
“At the fruit processing plant, we are also talking of other direct and indirect employment. Our products will be exported to Europe and the Middle East, especially in Dubai, where we have ready markets.”
The businessman said he also has plans to import latest state-of-the-art agricultural infrastructure once he fully sets up base in Zimbabwe.
Mr Bajwa is a renowned farmer in India, who received a Horticulture and Fishery Award in that country.