(ZANIS)-Mpika District is set to benefit from a multi-million dollar sugar plantation project by the end of this year.
Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary, Henry Mukungule says the Chambeshi Sugar Project will be implemented by Atlantic Commodities Limited, a solely owned Zambian company.
Mr Mukungule said this in an interview in Chinsali Thursday shortly after holding a virtual meeting with the investor for the project.
He said the project, which will commence by September this year is one of the many investments that will bring development to the province especially in the agriculture sector.
Mr Mukungule said the establishment of a sugar plantation along the Chambeshi River, is a significant step towards government’s efforts of promoting local investment through engaging local investors in bigger industrial projects.
“Atlantic Commodities Limited is one of the many investors that have shown serious interest in investing in our province and we are delighted as the Muchinga Provincial administration that their interest in the sugar project has started bearing fruit,” he said.
He stated that government’s agenda of poverty reduction is heading in the right direction as the sugar project will create jobs for the local people.
Mr Mukungule assured Atlantic Commodities that the Provincial Administration has engaged Chiefs who are already willing to release land for the investment.
He disclosed that another investor RARA farms has shown interest to invest in sugar production in Mpika and rice growing in Nakonde.
Mr Mukungule further disclosed that Workers Compensation has started clearing land for construction of a five star hotel in Chinsali District.
He said the five star hotel will add value to the tourism sector, as the provincial headquarters has been grappling with inadequate quality accommodation for visitors.
And speaking earlier during the virtual meeting, Atlantic Commodities Limited Managing Director Carson Simbeye, disclosed that the sugar project is estimated to cost over US$ 88 million.
Mr Simbeye explained that the integrated project will consist of 16,000 hectares of land for a sugarcane plantation, 6,000 hectares of land for a sugarcane out-grower scheme and 30 MegaWatts Cogen Power plant among others.
He stated that there is need for an extra 10,000 hectares of land to be acquired through the traditional leadership, adding that the scale of the project aims at producing about 1,344,000 tonnes of sugarcane annually.
“I wish to also state that some of the notable benefits that will be generated from this project will also be the availability of power to the local community which will reduce dependency on the use of charcoal as the main source of energy,” he added.
He further thanked government for providing an enabling environment for the local company to establish their investment venture in Muchinga Province.