Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa yesterday officially opened Davipel Group of Companies, an indigenous agro-processing company in Sunway City Industrial Park, Harare. The company consists of Davipel, which is into corn snack manufacturing and Agri-Milling, which is into maize-meal and stock feed production and has invested $12 million in two state-of-the-art plants.
President Mnangagwa commended the company for its confidence in the economy.
“I would like to commend the Davipel Group for this milestone achievement, which I am hopeful will be exemplary to other industrialists and will create more employment for our people.
“This new manufacturing facility is reflective of the confidence the directors have in our trade and investment climate. I am convinced that it will be an inspiration to other growing companies that business can thrive in this country and that Zimbabwe is indeed open for business,” President Mnangagwa said.
He commended the company for investing in a milling plant, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe.
“I am advised that Davipel has invested in state-of-the-art equipment valued at $12 million, which consists of snack producing plants sourced from South Africa and Turkey. I am further informed that the assembling of the plants was done by both local and foreign engineers and that the company has become a leading producer of snacks in the country,” he said.
“I commend Davipel for its ingenuity which saw an additional investment in a milling plant which is the first 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,” he added.
President Mnangagwa reiterated Government’s commitment to provide an enabling environment for businesses to grow.
“My Government will continue to create an enabling business environment which allows business to thrive.
“I will maintain an open door policy for constructive discussions and also ensure the provision of fiscal incentives as well as the requisite infrastructure. Zimbabwe should be a hub for industrialisation and technology in the region,” the President said.
The President also called on the private sector to invest in research and development.
“I was exposed to impressive innovations stride by our young men and women as I commissioned a business Incubation Hub at Midlands State University (on Tuesday this week). I urge industry and the private sector to be active partners in promoting research and development in institutions of higher learning in a bid to ensure relevant solutions to the opportunities and challenges that our economy is faced with.
“Meanwhile, my Government has committed to allocate one percent of our GDP to research and development,” President Mnangagwa added.
He also said Government was fast tracking the implementation of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Authority as a One Stop Investment and Trade Facilitation Centre.
In his address, Davipel managing director Mr Davision Norupiri said their vision was to be the largest snack manufacturing company in the Sadc region.
“We are the largest in Zimbabwe and third largest in the region which has 150 snack producing companies. Our ambition is to be recognised as the largest in the region,” he said.
Mr Norupiri said the investment was a sign of their commitment to Zimbabwe.
“This investment shows our commitment to Zimbabwe and is a response to the clarion call for investment to create jobs. This investment has created 400 jobs,” he added.
The corn snack manufacturing plant was established in 2002, while the milling company Agri-Milling was established this year.
Meanwhile Davipel donated 10 tonnes of mealie-meal to First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s charity, Angel of Hope.