An agro and food-processing plant is expected to open in Livingstone, the tourist capital of Zambia, at the end of this month. It is anticipated that the plant will create over 1, 000 jobs and support 3, 000 small-scale farmers.

Fallsway Food Processing plant proprietor, Shigbhai Volla, said that most of the installations have already been completed and that the company is expected to be operational this year.

“The project’s initial investment was USD1.5 million but this figure is expected to increase due to the addition of production machinery. The project will support about 3, 000 small-scale farmers through ordering their produce to reduce the market challenges faced by most of the farmers,” Mr Volla said in an interview on Sunday.

According to Mr Volla, the majority of employees will be Zambians while the experts who will handle the machinery will be sourced abroad. The collection centres for the agro products will be set up in Kazungula, Kalomo and Sinazongwe during the initial stages and later, roll out to the entire southern province.

Mr Volla assured that the processing plant has been fitted with modern machinery that has production lines from the selection of fruits and vegetables to the packaging of finished products. Once fully operational, the plant is expected to produce about 15 types of products ranging from various juices and mineral water to dairy products, tomato products and jam.

The processing plant will benefit the community by creating jobs and a market for small-scale farmers in the southern province. The company plans to supply its products to Kazungula, Sesheke, Mwandi, Zimba, Livingstone, Kalomo, Choma, Batoka, Mumbwa, Sinazeze, and Sinazongwe.

“Half of the products will be sold locally and the other 50 percent will be exported to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Congo,” concluded Mr Volla.