Mthuli Ncube injects $30 million into manufacturing sector, hails Innscor VFEX listing

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By Alois Vinga

FINANCE  Minister ,Mthuli Ncube Friday said he had drawn down US$30 million to revamp the country’s manufacturing sector from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  grant extended to  Zimbabwe last year.

He made the announcement while congratulating the listing of conglomerate Innscor Africa on the Victoria Falls Exchange (VFEX) bourse.

Last year Zimbabwe received around US$1 billion from the IMF under Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), an international reserve asset to supplement official reserves and boost liquidity to member countries in the wake of the devastating impact of the Covid19 pandemic.

“In terms of the NDS1, the manufacturing sector is fundamental to the projected economic growth. Government allocated US$30 million of the IMF SDRs as retooling towards the manufacturing and value addition sector, and this shows the Government’s commitment to supporting entities in the manufacturing and value addition sector.

“These resources will complement resources mobilized through private sector participation such as the listing process we are witnessing today,” he said.

The treasury boss also commended Innscor Africa for the latest listing and encouraged other local companies to adopt a similar aggressive local and regional expansion drive.

“The group is constantly looking into possibilities of re-investing in Zimbabwe’s future, having recently concluded a US$71 million investment program by the end of the 2022 financial year and is. The company is set to invest a further US$ 56 million in the current 2023 financial period,” said Ncube.

He added that such investments are targeted at new investment categories, such as US$ 11 million investment into sorghum beer production, as well as extending or enhancing existing categories, such as a US$ 22 million investment into a new state-of-the-art bakery in Bulawayo.

Another  US$ 26 million investment is set to be injected into National Foods, encompassing a new flour mill, biscuit line, pasta line and snacks manufacturing, to name but a few.

Ncube said the Innscor Group procures most of its raw material requirements through local contract farming schemes, having recently supported the planting of 13,000 hectares of wheat to produce 78,000 metric tons in the recently concluded and very successful winter wheat season.

“The Group has followed this up with further support for the ongoing summer maize and soya bean season and expects to have 34,000 hectares under summer-winter seasonal rotation. Through these investments, Innscor is contributing towards the achievement of not only SDG goals but our own NDS1,” he added.