Herbal tea factory launched in Penhalonga

Staff Reporter

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Deputy Minister, Honourable Douglas Karoro yesterday launched  a herbal tea factory in Penhalonga,  Manicaland Province, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is open for business mantra” continues to bear fruits.

Deputy Minister Karoro noted the benefits that the country was set to accrue from such an investment which comes at a time when there is a shift on the globe towards consumption of organic foods due to their healthy benefits.

“I feel grateful to launch a factory for organically certified products whose world market is more than 100 billion United States dollars. With earnings of more than US$50 billion, 50 times higher than earnings of farmers from tobacco worldwide, production of organic herbal tea offers a unique opportunity for the local farming sector as we seek to create a US$2.8 billion agriculture economy by 2025,” said Deputy Minister Karoro.

The “Organic Africa” CEO, Dominikus Collenberg gave assurance for further investments, adding that the multi-million-dollar investment will increase export receipts especially to Germany which is the biggest importer of Zimbabwe’s Herbal tea.

“We are currently producing 500 tonnes and we are aiming to increase to 10 000 tonnes. This plant caters for up to 400 tonnes per annum and we have another machine in Northern Zimbabwe,” he said.

The Germany and Swiss ambassadors to Zimbabwe spoke on the huge demand for organic products globally and lauded Zimbabwe’s open for business drive.

“There is a big market for organic products in Germany. There was a surplus of ten million Euros for Zimbabwe in terms of trade and there is huge potential for Zimbabwe to further grow her export receipts. We noticed that Zimbabwe is open for business. This will help attract more investors,” Germany Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Udo Volz said.

Swiss Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Niculin Jigger said, “In Switzerland there is high demand of organic food that provides huge market for Zimbabwe organic productions. There are encouraging initiatives in Manicaland to develop organic tea and coffee. Organic farming will create jobs and Zimbabwe has great potential.”

Exporting into a certified market which gives an average of 20 to 30 percent higher prices than the uncertified market, the Organic Africa project runs an out-grower scheme for 5000 small scale farmers and employs 3000 wild collectors.