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SMEs eye sugar-making venture

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

AMBITIOUS—The group seeks to boost cane production

A group of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Nasme) is mobilising resources to establish a sugar and sugarcane-related products manufacturing plant in the country to tap from opportunities that exist in the business.

The group has since established a steering committee for the initiative.

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Members of the committee have elected Norman Lufesi, Adams Kalumbi and Andrina Maxwell as chairperson, secretary and treasurer, respectively.

Lufesi said, 12 entrepreneurs have expressed interest in venturing into the initiative.

“The investment is very exciting, but will require a lot of investment and we will ensure that we start small while aiming big. We have not approximated the investment but we are working towards that since it will involve acquisition of land, machinery, labour and more to ensure that we have raw materials,” Lufesi said.

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He further said, so far, people interested have contributed a combined 100 hectares which is the prime advantage as the development is in progress.

Lufesi also said the venture would produce sweets, ethanol and fertiliser.

“With the growing population, a market is available.

“We know Brazil has a large proportion of ethanol in their petrol and we are determined to move this agenda.

“We are working with the government to ensure that this initiative is implemented and the raw materials are being sourced. We will move into the next phase which will be studying from other SMEs in other countries so that this takes off as soon as we possible,” Lufesi said.

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