Hippo Valley Estates project set to create 1,500 jobs 

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED sugar processor, Hippo Valley Estates, has tabled plans to roll out a project which will see 165 farmers and 1 500 jobs being created on the back of several other community centred projects.

Presenting the performance for the six months ended September 30 2022, the group chairman, Canaan Dube said the forthcoming project will be community centred.

“About 165 farmers farming on 20 hectare plots are expected to benefit from the 3 300 hectares when fully developed, resulting in 1 500 jobs which will in turn benefit 6000 beneficiaries and various stakeholders will participate in the development value of about US$25 million,” he said.

Apart from this, the company’s management has since reached an agreement for the Mteri wildlife and lodges with Magnum Alley Pvt Ltd, a private operator with experience in wildlife management,  to address Safety and Health related issues that were being experienced due to lack of adequate skills internally.

“Since their engagement in June 2022, reports of human and wildlife conflict have been reduced significantly, with efforts still to be stepped up in the area of fish poaching which is still being experienced although at a lower rate,” said Dube.

An offer was also made to the Chilonga Community to benefit from the wildlife operations which include a share of income from the lodges and fish harvested from the dam as well as meat from animals from the hunted animals to encourage the community to participate in the protection of wildlife against poaching.

The Chilonga community was also engaged to provide some security around the Mteri game area, providing jobs to locals.

Hippo Valley Estates Limited is currently providing input and extension support to over 1000 farmers operating on approximately 20 000 hectares.

Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe is also continuing to partner some out growers by co-managing their previously underperforming farms with a focus on those achieving below the break- even yield of 65 tons per hectare.

To date, this has seen 741 hectares under the co-management arrangement. The company also continues to provide technical support to a number of new sugarcane out grower developments projects for the benefit of local farmers.

Meanwhile, during the review period, total sugar produced by the industry for the six months to 30 September 2022 was 289,3 tons. The company’s share of total production to September 30 2022 was 53,1%.

“Total sugar industry export sales for the period increased by 19,31% to 35 265 due to improved volume allocation.

“Despite a 5% decrease in industry sales volume, company revenue increased by 61% from prior year to ZW$63,1 billion whose movement was affected by dynamics introduced by hyperinflation accounting.

“Operating profit receded by 14% from ZW$10,3 billion in the prior year,” added Dube.