By Ndafadza Madanha
THE Zimbabwe government will take the opportunity presented by the visiting Chinese delegation from Anhui province led by Vice Governor Zhou Xi’an to lobby for more capital injection into the Zim-China Wanjin Company.
Zim-China Wanjin Agricultural Development Company is a joint venture formed in 2010 between government of Zimbabwe through the ministry of defense and Anhui State of China.
Currently Zim- China Wanjin runs five farms in Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central spanning several thousand of hectares.
In Mashonaland West the joint venture operates Arda-Sisi, Hunyani farm leased from the Chinhoyi University of Technology, Eureka-Chivero and Cassama farms.
In Mashonaland Central the company operates Crystal farm.
In the past eight years the Chinese investors have injected about US$5 million in the operations which officials believe is not sufficient to resuscitate and upscale production at the farms.
An official at Zim-China Wanjin Major Tich Masanganise said in an interview during a tour of Hunyani Farm by the Anhui governor the visit will see the local shareholder negotiate for more investment to upscale production at the various farms and meet growing demand for crops in the country.
“Our partners are happy with the relationship but we are not. We would want to expand our production as there is growing demand for food in the country. Since the investor is also around we would also like to negotiate for value addition and expansion in to other farms.
The investor has brought about US$5m since the formation of the JVC but we still require more investment in post harvest management which entails investment in silos. We also know they have the capacity to invest in fertilizer and chemical plants”.
Masanganise said on its part government must work to create an enabling environment for investors and reduce the high cost of production.
He said Zim-China Wanjin was in the process of importing 15 centre pivots that will help mitigate the effects EL-Nino phenomenon.
Seven of the pivots will be deployed at the Hunyani farm which currently has four pivots and 450 hectares of arable land under crop.
Masanganise said the company was looking to diversify into export crop which will help the country earn the much needed foreign currency.
“We currently have agronomists working on whether we can grow export crops such as peas at our farms and this could help the country earn much needed foreign currency. We are producing for the local market and our main crops are tobacco, maize and soyabeans in the summer while wheat is grown in the winter.”
He said they had harvested over 3300 tonnes from winter wheat from the 610 hectares that were ploughed.
Zim-China Wanjin employs at its peak employs over 750 people.