Varun to set up tomato and potato plant

By Rudo Saungweme

An Indian beverages firm, Varun Beverages which currently produces Pepsi drink in the country is set to establish a tomato and potato processing plant in Harare, a move expected to boost exports and foreign currency as well as creating employment, Harare Post has learnt.

Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Krishnan Shankar  said, “We are now looking at opportunities of establishing a tomato processing plant, basically what the country needs are exports and so we are looking at the export potential for these two crops that is tomato and potato.”

In June last year, the firm injected US $40 million for a beverages plant that produces Pepsi, Mirinda, Mountain Dew and 7UP drinks.

Varun is set to inject approximately US$30 million for the processing plant.

On 18 February, the firm was given a Special Economic Zones (SEZ) status in terms of section 20 (1) of the SEZ Authority Act (Chapter 14:34).

Government decided to declare Varun Beverages a special economic zone considering that the firm wants to ramp up its operations in the country.

Commenting on the developments, a senior Government official who refused to be named said, “We really appreciate what Varun is doing. This shows that we have companies that are in support of building the Zimbabwe we all want. Our Government supports companies that have the zeal to develop our country. Employment shall also be created. This is commendable.”

Varun Beverages firm is currently dominating the beverages market in the country and has a capacity to produce 600 000 bottles of drinks per day.