President Mnangagwa Commissions 4 Industrial Processing And Production Plants At The Uz, Launches Of The Nu-Gold Products Range
Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa
Zimbabwe is on an unstoppable course to improve the livelihoods of its people and Universities have been commended for playing their part through Research, Science, Technology and Innovation thrust, they are implementing which is a key cog to accelerate the attainment of Vision 2030.
This was said by President and Chancellor Dr ED Mnangagwa while commissioning the Bread and Confectionary Production Plant, the Edible Oil Production Plant, the Stock Feed Manufacturing Plant and the Puff Production Plant at the University of Zimbabwe Agro-Industrial Park and Innovation Hub Start-up on Friday.
He said the plants and Nu-Gold products he also commissioned were the fruits of the Government’s Heritage-based Education 5.0 Philosophy.
President Mnangagwa said, “The launch of Nu Gold Brand Products, among other similar projects, provides ample evidence that as a nation, we can develop under our own model of education and leap-frog our modernisation and industrialisation.”
He urged the higher education sector, to assert the country as a knowledge-driven and innovation-led economy. He assured the sector of his Administration’s support of innovations and projects across all the institutions towards building new industries and businesses, riding on the country’s talented young people.
President and Chancellor Mnangagwa said, “The establishment of these plants and the launch of Nu-Gold products are consistent with my Government’s priorities as espoused in the National Development Strategy. This initiative will also go a long way towards the realisation of food and nutrition security, employment and wealth creation that leaves no one and no place behind.”
President and Chancellor Dr Mnangagwa further said, “Meanwhile, it is commendable that three of the Industrial Processing and Production Plants being commissioned will be operated through a company, wholly owned by the University of Zimbabwe, VN Agro (Pvt) Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Vaka-Nyika Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. I exhort the University and VN Agro (Pvt) Ltd, to ￼ensure that products from the respective plants increase competition among producers of bread and confectioneries, edible oils and stock feed.”
He said the entry of VN Agro products must broaden the ranges of quality goods for consumers with prices pegged at affordable levels.
The plants were installed with the participation of University students and staff from various faculties and departments which was applauded by the Chancellor who said the skills and synergies being developed in this regard must continue to be harnessed to accelerate the establishment of rural industry systems.
The Bread and Confectionery Production Plant allows for the substitution of wheat with sweet potato resulting in a reduction in wheat flour requirements. It will also produce bread to cater for the daily consumption of University of Zimbabwe students in residences as well as surpluses for the market. This will help stabilise the price of bread on the market and stimulate the development of new businesses along the sweet potato and wheat value chains.
The Edible Oil and Stock Feed Production Plants are closely linked in their operation, with the edible oil plant producing cooking oil and soya meal as well as soaps.
The President and Chancellor Dr Mnangagwa said, “Backward and forward linkages with farmers and stakeholders remain critical for the viability of these projects. These plants should drive the value chains for different commodities, including sweet potato, soya bean, sunflower, wheat, maize and Irish potato, in the country. I, therefore, urge the University and VN Agro (Pvt) Ltd to support out grower schemes to guarantee reliable supplies of raw materials.”
“It is commendable that the Puff Production Plant we are commissioning today is the brainchild of the Graduate Innovator and Start-up Programme of the University’s Innovation Hub. Well done. I urge all other institutions of higher learning to continue nurturing our talented young girls and boys to ensure that our nation reaps the benefits of a vibrant innovation ecosystem,” said President Mnangagwa
He said, “The launch of the “Nu-Gold” Brand product range to be produced and commercialised through VN Agro (Pvt) Ltd is another milestone achievement. Congratulations. All these products must be commercialised and made available to our consumers throughout the country.”
Further, the Future Grains for Africa Programme should begin to gradually see farmers across the country producing more highly nutritious and well packaged traditional crops.