By JUDITH NAMUTOWE -
MANSA Sugar has spent over K300, 000 on compensating about 115 farmers who were engaged in various farming activities in the Chembe Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in Luapula Province.
This has paved the way for the investor to start planting canes.
Luapula Province Permanent Secretary, Boniface Chimbwali confirmed this in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
“The investor has so far spent K360,000 to compensate 115 farmers who are engaged in farming activities in the Chembe MFEZ for their crops.
“These are the farmers who have been growing various crops in the area where Mansa Sugar is investing,” Mr Chimbwali said.
Earlier this year, Mansa Sugar announced that it was set to invest US$54 million in the plantation and production of sugar in Chembe District.
Mr Chimbwali said the company had already identified 2,500 hectares out of which 100 hectares were allocated for necessary purposes.
He said soil sampling to establish which part would be suitable for the MFEZ had already been conducted, and the investor had since started planting.
The project, which would be the anchor project in the Chembe MFEZ, was being spearheaded by the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA).
The permanent secretary said the provincial administration was currently assisting the investor to get the title deed from the ministry of Lands.
During the first phase of the project, the investor would pump in an initial amount of $25 million with a workforce of over 400.
Once production starts, the company would be producing about 18,000 tonnes of sugar per year, alongside ethanol production.