Zambian Breweries develops local liquor industry
Times.co.zm - Jun 21st, 09:36
The Copperbelt has on an annual basis been experiencing shortages of liquor, especially during festive periods and various events.
But the shortages will now be a thing of the past as Zambian Breweries Plc has constructed a state-of-the-art plant, a one million hecto-litre facility at its Ndola Breweries which is ready to satisfy the market.
The factory, probably the biggest brewery and one of the largest investments outside the extractive industries in the country, was officially commissioned by Vice-President Guy Scott recently.
To construct this new factory which has a brew house and a packaging plant, the company invested KR450, 000 (K450 million or about US$90,000).
This plant is set to increase production capacity to an annual 100 million litres or 267 million bottles per year and create employment opportunities for the locals.
SABMiller Africa managing director Mark Bowman said the company invested heavily in developing Zambia’s liquor industry to create more employment opportunities through infrastructure development.
Mr Bowman said SABMiller had also embarked on a project to construct a Chibuku maltings plant in Lusaka.
Construction of the Chibuku plant has already started and is expected to be completed in November this year. The Lusaka maltings plant would be completed in November 2014.
Mr Bowman, who apologised to the Zambian Government for wanting to close the Ndola plant in the past, said that was due to lack of foresight.
He said the business on the Copperbelt had grown and following the investment of $90,000, the company was expected to satisfy the growing market.
The company has developed a technique to brew beer from cassava for local farmers to generate income from growing the crop.
“We have developed a technique to produce beer from cassava and the plan has been rolled out to create a window for the local farmers to generate income from growing the crop.
“We have already begun this process in Mozambique, benefitting thousands of farmers,” he said.
Republican vice-president Guy Scott, who officiated at the commissioning of the plant, commended Zambian Breweries for showing confidence in the people of Zambia and the government for investing huge sums of money in the project.
Dr Scott urged investors in the country to utilise the local raw materials instead of importing from other countries.
“Zambia is the only country in Africa with sufficient resources. There is no need to use raw materials from other countries,” Dr Scott said.
The Vice-President expressed happiness at plans by Zambian Breweries to introduce a local brew from cassava.
He said government was ready to partner with the organisation because it would help in generating income from cassava for the people.
Dr Scott said the Government was committed to the provision of social services and needed the involvement of the private sector to help in job creation.
“Government is committed to developing social services to the people but to do this, we need private partners to grow their businesses so that we can create more jobs to capture the majority of the people which stands at 80 per cent,” he said.
Ndola Central Member of Parliament (MP) Fackson Shamenda urged Zambian Breweries management to give priority to unemployed youths in the area.
Mr Shamenda, who is also Labour and Social Security minister, said the plant was in Ndola Central Constituency, hence the need to consider the people in the area.
He said the Government would like to work with investors who appreciate that human resource was vital for to the development of any economy.
“Zambian Breweries has a reputation of being good employers and corporate governors. I, therefore, appeal to you to give priority to the majority of the unemployed youths of Ndola Central Constituency,” he said.
Copperbelt Province Minister Mwenya Musenge was optimistic that following the construction of the plant, economic activities would be brought to the city.
“I am extremely excited as minister of the Copperbelt as this takes Ndola once again to another level. Ndola is an economic centre of the Copperbelt,” he said.
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