By Tapiwa Machemedze
Government has created 170 new jobs in Rushinga over the past six months after the revival of Rushinga Dolomite Mine, a subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
The devolution concept is bearing fruit following the revival of Rushinga Dolomite Mine also known as G &W Minerals, which was resuscitated in November last after lying dormant since 2016 due to viability constraints.
170 jobs, of which 33 percent are occupied by women, have since been created at the mine which produces agricultural lime, stockfeed lime and oxide pigment.
The Minister of State in Charge of Monitoring the Implementation of Special Agricultural and Related Programmes, Honourable Davis Marapira who evaluated progress at the mine is convinced the resuscitation of the mine feeds into the Second Republic’s industrialisation agenda.
“The President expects the industry to go closer to the people. There shall be no youths who leave here (Rushinga) for Harare; Harare will come here. That’s the President’s vision that by 2030, people of Rushinga will be spending money at the growth point. The President is speaking of the NDS1 that the country will be built by its people, brick by brick,” Hon Marapira explained.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) through Chemplex intends to supply a new brand of basal and top dressing fertiliser containing lime on the market while under phase two of the operation it will ramp up production to substitute imports.
Phase three will see production of hydrated lime for water treatment.
“As Chemplex, we want to have a full basket of all farm inputs. We supply fertilisers and we are going to supply agricultural lime. Now, here are the benefits. Right now our farm yields are very marginalised because of not liming. We were actually producing 1.4 tonnes per hectare and this was low because we were not liming, so we want to produce fertilisers that have lime, a compound fertiliser that has lime and basal fertilisers that have lime. The more we put nitrogen fertilisers, the more we increase acidity of the soils. So, these products we will produce will correct soil pH,” James Chingwende, Acting Chemplex CEO said.
IDC Chairman Winston Makamure said, “The next phase is to put phase 2, which puts production of lime products to 100 tonnes. From there, cabinet has made a resolution in terms of treatment of portable water so we are going to put a plant, of which we need about six million dollars to produce hydrated lime, but the decision is that the raw material does not leave this place, what leaves is the finished product. So, the last phase, which is phase three, is the production of hydrated lime for water treatment of all municipalities in Zimbabwe.”
A further 800 jobs are expected within the next five years when the plant starts producing water treatment chemicals.
Farmers will also benefit from the increased production of lime especially those benefitting from the Presidential Inputs Scheme as they receive 80 kilogrammes of lime each.
The inputs are ready for distribution in Rushinga for the next summer cropping season.
In tandem with the devolution thrust, the IDC has adopted the mantra ‘Resources residing in Rushinga, mined in Rushinga, made in Rushinga and distributed from Rushinga’.
Rushinga legislator Honourable Tendai Nyabani applauded the investment in the dolomite mine for being transformative and employing locals, highlighting that the area is rich in industrial minerals which if successfully exploited will turn it into an industrial hub.