HARARE – Agro-chemicals distribution group, Fossil-Agro (Pvt) Limited says it is in negotiations with a Chinese investor to setup a manufacturing and packaging plant in the country as the firm eyes regional expansion.
As part of the expansion project, the chemicals distributor will also set up a hub in the country which will facilitate the distribution of products regionally.
“Ideally what we are trying to do is start producing a lot of the chemicals locally, the initial stage of that program have been delayed by about a year, we have a plan that we had put in place last year to bring a manufacturing plant but because of foreign currency issues we have had to keep postponing the program, we are now looking at bringing a packaging plant as an initial step to fully integrated manufacturing, hopefully we should be able to do this by end of the first half of the year.
“For the completion of the project we are looking about a million dollars.
“Going forward we are looking at establishing a hub for distribution into the region, so essentially what we need to do is to generate USD or a currency which we can pay for raw materials and also return dividends to our partners,
“Our strategy has changed were we were very focused on Zimbabwe now we are trying to look at how we can expand into the region, we are now looking at registration of our products, all those products will now be packaged in Zimbabwe initially and eventually produced here and be distributed,” Fossil-Agro Chief Operating Officer Taurai Mudzura said in an interview.
Meanwhile, the group also highlighted that it is also looking at expanding its operations into the cotton industry this year, as the group targets double digit growth in market share in the next five years.
Mr Mudzura said the company`s focus has been mainly premised on supplying chemicals for the food crops industry hence market penetration was law.
“In the agro-chemicals business we currently occupy a 25 percent market share and we want to grow that, you will find that the reason we are at 25 percent is we mainly focus on the food products that is your maize and soya beans which is where our strength lies,
“We do intend to expand in some of the country`s biggest export crops that is your cotton in particular we are very excited in the opportunities that are there, in our five year plan we are looking at double digit growth every year we are looking at a minimum of 10 percent ideally we would love to be in your 15-20 percent range, it’s a lot of work and drought years don’t help but we will give it a good go,” he said
Fossil-Agro begun operations in 2016 in the country supplying various chemicals in the agriculture value-chain namely herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and nematicides.
It was in awarded a contract by Government in the same year to supply chemicals for the Command Agriculture maize input scheme.