1,1 million tonnes of grain harvested in the 2016/2017 farming season under the Maize Production for Import Substitution Programme has been delivered to the Grain Marketing Board, enabling the country to regain the food security status in only one season.

This was revealed by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he officially commissioned a potato crisps plant in Harare this Thursday.     

Government’s policies meant to incentivise the local industry and boost production like the Import Management Programme introduced through Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 are now bearing fruit.

The state of the art potato crisps production plant was assembled with machinery worth more than $1,5 million and has a capacity to produce 3168 metric tonnes of crisps per year, translating to $27 million in revenue.

Cde Mnangagwa, who chairs both the food security and nutrition, as well as the beneficiation and value addition clusters of ZIMASSET, toured the plant, accompanied by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Mike Bimha, the Minister of State for Harare Province Cde Miriam Chikukwa, Chairman of the Hanawa Super Foods and co-founder of the company Mr Larry Mavima and several members of parliament.

Addressing guests, Cde Mnangagwa said the government will strive to create a conducive environment that attracts investment and stimulates activity by providing balanced policies.

He said the implementation of SI64 has resulted in the resuscitation of a number of companies.

Minister Bimha said policies like the local content policy will further revive the industry if implemented, while Minister Chikukwa commended the initiative saying it will help in creating more jobs.

Mr Mavima, who co-founded the company with his wife, Mrs Rose Mavima, said they have contracted 1000 small holder farmers from Nyanga who are supplying the potatoes.

The high speed line potato crisp plant is the second in the country and is expected to contribute significantly to the success of the food and beverages sector.