Zimplats is investing in several initiatives designed to upskill and provide sustainable employment or income generation for community members, with a focus on promoting food security.
Cattle ranching project
Zimplats continues to make strides in implementing a US$15 million commercial cattle ranching business, jointly owned by Zimplats Enterprises (Private) Limited and Palmline Holdings. This leading example of a shared value initiative supports the government’s thrust for agricultural development, employment creation and forex generation. Zimplats Enterprises plays an oversight role regarding the joint-venture project and the Zimplats executive committee receives monthly management reports as well as annual audited financial statements. Further, two non-executive directors from the Zimplats management team sit on the board of the joint venture to ensure that sound corporate governance prevails in the cattle ranching and dairy business.
Progress to date confirms the project will contribute to the revival of national commercial beef and dairy milk production and community herd health and livelihoods. There are now more than 2 590 cattle onsite, of which 780 are dairy cows. About 62 000 litres of raw milk are currently sold each month. Beef sales are expected to begin early in 2022 and full capacity is expected within four years.
The community is already benefiting from improved herd health through provision of vaccines and antibiotics. More than 4 900 community cattle have been treated. This had added significance following a theileriosis outbreak.
Agricultural college dairy parlour upgrade
Zimplats refurbished the milk parlour at Gwebi Agricultural College, north-west of Harare, which provides facilities for instruction in managing crops and livestock. The facilities can now accommodate 250 to 300 cattle and currently provide temporary milking facilities for 200 cows from the cattle ranching project while a milking parlour in Ngezi is being constructed. The upgrade included the establishment of a centre of excellence for community members to learn about livestock management.
Village ecosystem for horticulture project
Zimplats has launched a project aimed at creating self-sufficient, food-secure communities while promoting their resilience to climate induced shocks. We established three smallholder irrigation schemes in the Mhondoro Ngezi and Chegutu rural districts, as part of a five-year programme that will see the launch of 15 such schemes. Zimplats is investing in the appropriate infrastructure for the participants and facilitates training through a range of project partners. Zimplats has secured markets for the produce grown, through the Company’s caterers and other commodity buyers.