Anchor Holdings Seek US$4m
Anchor Holdings seeks US$4,5m
ZIMBABWE’S sole yeast manufacture, Anchor Holdings limited is seeking US$4,5million from the Government to retool its manufacturing plant in Gweru. The absence of the latest technology at the plant and liquidity has affected the quality of the products and Anchor Holdings hopes to regain its market through the importation of new equipment for the plant.
Speaking before the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Industry and Commerce, Anchor Holdings chief operating officer, Mr Muvirimi Kupara said his company is looking for capital to import latest technology for the manufacturing plant which would ensure their products meet global standards.
“The local yeast industry is under threat from imports coming through middlemen either legally or illegally.
“Therefore, we are seeking capital to retool our plant so that we improve quality of our products.
“Anchor Holdings will explore the export market once the refurbishments of the plant are completed,” Mr Kupara said.
The manufacturing plant is currently operating at 56 percent capacity, producing 260 tonnes of yeast monthly for the local baking industry.
Once retooling is finished, the company is expected to reach production capacity of 10 000 tonnes per annum and the capacity is sitting at 3 456 tonnes per annum at the moment.
The nation has a yeast consumption capacity of 56 000 tonnes per annum and the retooling of the plant will enable the company to meet the needs of the local market.
Mr Kupara said the issue of imports had affected the viability of the company and was requesting the Government to make Anchor Yeast the only producer and importer of yeast in the country.
He said the local yeast industry is losing more than US$3million annually through the smuggling of the product from South Africa and Zambia by some unscrupulous businesses in the country.“About 2 000 tonnes of active and inactive yeast were smuggled into the country last year because of the porousness of the border posts.
The industry is losing more than US$3 million and this is an amount that could have revived it a long time ago,” said Mr Kupara.
He said the low value of the Zambian Kwacha and the fluctuation of the South African rand against the United States dollar, made Zimbabwe an attractive market, consequently turning the country into a dumping ground for cheaper and sub-standard products.