INDUSTRIAL Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) has poured US$1,4 million into the refurbishment of the G&W Industrial Minerals mine in Rushinga to speed up the production of lime and enhance import substitution.
G&W, which is located in Rushinga, had been placed under care and maintenance in 2016 due to viability challenges.
As a result, Zimbabwe has been importing lime.
IDCZ board chairperson Winston Makamure said the firm was targeting to supply 30% of the 2022 agricultural season’s lime requirements.
“The refurbished mill produces about 100 000 tonnes per annum,” he told NewsDay Business.
“The target is to supply over 30% of 2022 agricultural lime requirements of 250 000 tonnes and to meet national demand from 2023 onwards after installation of another limestone milling plant with capacity of 300 000 tonnes per annum. Lime is strategic in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) agenda on food security and nutrition,” he said.
He said IDCZ also intended to invest in a hydrated lime plant.
Zimbabwe currently imports hydrated lime from neighbouring Zambia.
“As IDCZ, we remain resolute in ensuring that relentless efforts are pursued towards improving sustainable production and productivity by utilising the local resource endowments, employment creation, and promoting import substitution and rural industrialisation. These are some of the key fundamentals for unlocking the anticipated growth trajectory targeted under the NDS1,” Makamure added.
The establishment of industries such as this in areas where endowments are available is in sync with the rural industrialisation thrust which seeks to ensure inclusivity.
The increased output will translate to increased availability of affordable agricultural lime to farmers, thus improving agricultural yields through soil conditioning.
“In line with the NDS1 thrust, current geopolitical factors in Eastern Europe, coupled with the negative impact of COVID-19 are a wake-up call for us to localise our production systems. Once we are able to meet local demand and in excess, this will undoubtedly translate to sustainable food supply chains and affordability to the final consumer,” Makamure said.
He said IDCZ’s locally-produced basal fertilisers were readily available on the market. This comes after it successfully commissioned a fertiliser blending plant.
Under NDS1, agriculture has been placed at the heart of economic recovery and is expected to complement tourism, manufacturing and mining.