Zimplats CSOT to transform district into citrus hub 

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By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent 

CHEGUTU district is set to restore its citrus hub status underpinned by an out-grower programme for both commercial and communal farmers producing oranges, nartjies, grapefruit, lemons mandarins and other citrus produce.

The envisaged project is expected to resuscitate citrus production in the district once famous for citrus produce before the agrarian reform programme, which saw newly resettled farmers failing to sustain delicate production of citrus fruits.

Zimplats Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu-Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) Chief Executive Officer, Wilson Chinzou announced that the project will restore the citrus hub tag to Chegutu district.

Zimplats Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu-Zvimba CSOT Chief Executive Officer, Wilson Chinzou

“Through our investments arm, Sable, we have started a citrus project, and we intend to covert Chegutu to be a citrus hub like it used to be.

“Inorder to achieve this, we want to tap into the potential of surrounding A1 and A2 farms.

“As we speak, we have managed to plant 100 hectares of citrus and continuing. We hope by year-end we would have grown 180 hectares,” said Chinzou.

Construction of a dam is underway to provide irrigation water to the life-changing project.

On the back of an export quota to China, cultivation of citrus will enable Zimbabwe to get much-needed foreign currency.

With growing demand for citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C, in the world’s second most populous country, the Zimplats CSOT is expected to play a crucial role in helping meet demand.