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the Chisumbanje Ethanol Project back on track
Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Arthur G.O. Mutambara
September 19, 2012
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Ethanol Project is a national project of great strategic importance
where ethanol is produced from sugarcane. The project consists of
sugarcane plantations in Chisumbanje and Middle Sabi, with the Ethanol
plant being located in Chisumbanje. World class irrigation infrastructure
has been put in place, and an outstanding ethanol producing plant
constructed. The Project has potential to radically improve our
fuel security and economics, introduce efficient irrigation schemes,
support smallholder out-grower schemes, create jobs, generate large
amounts of electric power, and stimulate major downstream industries.
issues and problems at the Chisumbanje Ethanol Project have resulted
in the stoppage of production activities at the ethanol plant. To
address these matters, there is need for a common understanding
of the challenges the project faces. It is within this context that
this Inter-Ministerial Committee has done its work and produced
the current report. The objective is to provide a holistic solution
to the project's challenges in a way that allows production to resume
and for the project to realize its full potential in contributing
to the economic development of Zimbabwe.
visited Chisumbanje on the 22nd and 26th of August, 2012 on a fact
finding mission, and met in Harare on the 3rd and 17th of September
2012 to discuss their findings and to start the process of building
a portfolio of solutions that will put the project back on its course.
Ethanol Project is an enterprise of strategic and national importance,
which has the potential to be the nucleus for the development of
an ethanol industrial cluster. The project currently has issues
and problems in two broad areas, which are: social and community
related, and, technical and business related. Long term and sustainable
solutions should be found to these issues based on a thorough and
technical analysis of the problems instead of politicizing the issue.
The solutions should balance between three buckets of interests,
that is, community, private and national. The solutions should provide
a win-win scenario for these three potentially conflicting areas
of interests. The resolution of the challenges should be proffered
in ways that protect the integrity of the government while engaging
all the stakeholders involved and affected.
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