BuyZed has demanded the immediate full operationalization of the Kalene Fruit Processing Industry in Mwinilunga District of North Western Province, and the Katete Fruit Processing Plant in Eastern Province respectively.
Chief Executive Officer, Evans Ngoma, said the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) should also operationalise the Chitambo Cassava Processing Facility in Central Province.
Ngoma told Zambia Monitor in Lusaka on Sunday that the IDC needs to inform the nation what had led to the delayed running of the three plants.
“The three facilities have a potential to reduce unemployment among the many youths who are languishing in the streets in the country,” he said.
Ngoma proposed that the IDC should consider acquiring a loan from financial institutions in the case of financial challenges and recapitalization of the three plants.
He said the IDC can also utilise funds from other sister companies if they failed to get a loan from financial institutions.
“IDC must realize that this is a business and needs to approach the banks to get a loan in oder to recapitalize the three plants because as things stand, it’s not sitting well with the promises on job creation,” Ngoma said.
President Hakainde Hichilema last year commissioned the Kalene Hills Fruit processing plant in Mwinilunga and called for more factories to be opened in all 10 provinces of Zambia.
With an installed fruit processing capacity of 24,000 metric tonnes per annum, the factory was driven by the IDC’s mandate of industrialization, rural development, job creation as well as the imperative of ensuring value addition to whatever local endowment there was in an area.
Kalene Hills Fruit Company was expected to fill the nearly three decades void and facilitate Northwestern Province’s participation in the pineapple, mango, citrus and tomato value chain.
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