Grow Africa, the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s agriculture focused investment promotion initiative and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), are among several high profile institutional entities that have confirmed attendance to the inaugural Zimbabwe International Sugar Investment Conference slated for Harare later this month.
Grow Africa works to increase private sector investment in agriculture, and accelerate the execution and impact of investment commitments. It enables countries to realise the potential of agriculture for economic growth and job creation, particularly among farmers, women and youths.
In addition, the initiative also facilitates collaboration between governments, international and domestic agriculture companies and smallholder farmers in order to lower the risk and cost of investing in agriculture, and improve the speed of return to all stakeholders.
Research and Investment Advisory firm DEAT Capital, with endorsement of Zimbabwe Government through Ministry of Industry and Commerce , is organising the first ever Zimbabwe International Sugar and Ethanol Investment Conference pencilled in for Harare’s Exhibition Park Grounds from October 30-31, 2019.
“The goal is to contribute to the Zimbabwe National Industrialisation and Exports Framework as well as vision 2030, which envisages a middle income country as enunciated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
“We see lots of opportunities for mobilising domestic and international to the entire sugar value chain.
“The project pipeline for Zimbabwe sugar industry is more than US$500million from new mills, land development, water infrastructure, renewable energy projects, roads, rail infrastructure, logistics, agriculture machinery and equipment, irrigation systems, engineering and master plan developments,” DEAT Capital said.
“We are excited at the huge and expanding interest from high level local, regional and international stakeholders. Sugar industry is a strategic rural economic activity plus renewable energy both ethanol and fuel cogeneration.”
Several local entities have either confirmed participation or are in the process of doing so among them Getbucks, Corteva Agriculture, Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe, CBZ Bank, First Mutual Life, Pearl Properties, NSSA, Zuva Petroleum and ABC stockbrokers.
NMB bank, Empowerment Bank, Zimbabwe Women’s Micro Finance Bank, Old Mutual, Stanbic Bank, Nedbank Zimbabwe, Agribank, BancABC, Star Africa, Cassava Smartech, Great Zimbabwe University and Delta Beverages are also expected to attend the event. The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mangaliso Ndlovu, as custodian of the sugar sector is leading the Government of Zimbabwe engagement process. Expectations that key line ministers from Agriculture, Water, Climate, Finance and Economic Development, Transport and Infrastructure, Women’s Affairs and SMEs are being engaged through the ministry.
The event is expected to attract at least 350 high level local, regional and international dignitaries. An impressive target of speakers is expected from Zimbabwe Government leadership, local, regional and international sugar industry value chain.
However, given that the sugar industry has over 1000 small scale commercial sugar cane growers DEAT Capital said they easily expect an overflow of delegates to this event. The event organisers said this provided a huge business development opportunity for service providers and strategic partners.
Discussion topics have been lined up cutting across pertinent industry issues as well as growth initiatives from markets, trade and investment, logistics, women in sugar industry and infrastructure investment in the sugar industry.
Further, discussions will also centre on new technologies and smart agriculture, science and innovation sustainable development, role of emerging markets such as BRICS in sugar industry, regional markets outlook, Lowveld tourism, agriculture and infrastructure investment forum.
The recently completed 1 803 million mega litre capacity Tugwi-Mukosi Dam (previously known as Tokwe-Mukosi) on the Mutirikwi/Tugwi system will significantly improve the water security of Zimbabwe sugar cane production.
The lowveld region in South Eastern Zimbabwe has a total dam capacity of some 4,226 million mega litres, which provides adequate water for the Zimbabwean cane production and expansion.
It has potential to irrigate approximately new land for sugar cane production of up to 25 000 hectares.
The Zimbabwe Government is completing a new master plan with projected opening up of land for new sugarcane plantations, ethanol sugar factories for new investors.
Sugar production output is expected to reach 500 000 metric tonnes in 2019, surpassing last year’s 460 000 tonnes.