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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Willowton margarine plant nears completion

Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

THE Willowton margarine plant is almost complete, with the Mutare-based plant expected to be operational before the end of the year.

This comes at a time when locally produced products are dominating market shelves.

Willowton Group Zimbabwe managing director, Mr Suleman Darsot outlined the progress made so far in establishing the new plant, hinting that two locally produced margarine brands might be on the market before Christmas this year.

“We are hoping to produce 15 tonnes of margarine per day when we start operations. We are at 95% complete, and the only thing left is refrigeration, once that is complete, in the next two weeks we will start our trial runs. Hopefully, we will have our margarine on the shelves by Christmas if not, the first week of January. We have got two brands Romi and Delight brands. We will employ about fifty workers and as we grow, we will increase the workforce to about a hundred,” he said.

Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Advocate Misheck Mugadza who accompanied the Special Advisor to the President on Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes and Projects, Dr Joram Gumbo is excited about the development.

“As Manicaland, we are excited following the developments here. The Second Republic has created opportunities for new investments. We are happy that Willowton has diversified operations to include margarine. We are inviting other investors as Manicaland is open for business,” said advocate Mugadza.

In an interview after touring the new margarine plant this Thursday, Dr Gumbo said the successes recorded in industrialising the nation reflect positive synergies between the private sector and government.

“The development here is testimony of the synergies between government and the private sector in propelling the country towards an industrialised status. We are seeing re-industrialisation taking shape after a company that used to operate here closed. The establishment of the margarine plant is a positive step towards industrialisation and self-sufficiency,” said Dr Gumbo.

The new investment is also creating opportunities for Soya and Sunflower farmers as the government implores the company to source its raw materials locally.

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