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Saudis plan major pineapple project US$125 million

By CYNTHIA MWALE

SAUDI firm Menafea Holding intends to invest US$125 million in a 5,000-hectare farm in North-Western Province this year and in building 2,000 housing units in Lusaka South multi-facility economic zone (MFEZ).

The project is expected to create employment opportunities in Lusaka and Northw-Western Province and link up indigenous small-scale farmers to a ready market through outgrower schemes.

Menafea Holding board member Khaled Alrajhi said the company plans to invest the funds this year and will grow pineapples and build a factory to produce juice.

This is contained in the latest issue of the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Spotlight publication availed to the Mail on March 1.

Mr Alrajhi said Menafea will build 2,000 housing units in the Lusaka South MFEZ under the same agreement, signed with Zambia’s investment promotion agency.

“We have been granted 5,000 hectares of land to grow pineapples using the latest technology and are going to put up a factory to produce juice for local consumption as well as export,” Mr Alrajhi said.

ZDA director for investment promotion and privatisation Muhabi Lungu said more Saudi investments were expected in Zambia.

Last December, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said Zambia did not regard leasing farmland to foreign investors as a form of ‘colonialism’ and was encouraging countries from the Gulf to invest in its agricultural sector.

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