THE Chiadzwa community is on the verge of sealing a lucrative deal to produce export quality herbs for a German firm, Organic Africa Holdings (OAH).The project is expected to generate at least 2 000 jobs for the locals who are still bitter after they failed to benefit from the diamonds mined in the area over the past two decades.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
NewsDay is in possession of the offer letter signed by OAH chairman Dominikus Collenberg dated August 8, 2020 addressed to Bocha Diamond Community Trust (BDCT) chairman Moses Mukwada.
Certified traditional herbs enjoy a huge market in European countries.
“Mr Godfrey Marange, who we understand to be a member of your trust made to us presentations including letters, maps, pictures and videos confirming the availability of at least 500 hectares of undisputed arable land which has been designated by community consensus for the establishment of the organic herbal farming project for the export market,” Collenberg wrote.
“We are pleased to inform you that your project has been selected for immediate benefit. To that effect, herbs sufficing to cover at least one hundred and twenty hectares of land have been approved for your project. 500 hectares is, however, the target,” he said.
“You are, therefore, kindly advised to make preparations for this offer, ensuring proper land preparation and other key preparatory procedures which are necessary to support the offer and operationalisation of the project as shall be guided by our technical department upon you acceptance of this offer,” he said.
“We will be offering you herbal plants, the product we want you to grow as from September 2020 is rosella at a price of US$700 per tonne of final approved product, this will only be applicable if you produce the minimum of 30 tonnes of final marketable produce, any smaller amount will not be bought,” he said.
Mukwada told NewsDay yesterday that the project would transform the villagers’ after they failed to benefit from diamonds.
He said the community had already started rehabilitating former mining areas for purposes of expanding their herb production project.
“The Marange community offtake agreement will create approximately 2 000 sustainable jobs in Mukwada ward 29 which will sustain the villagers long after the diamonds are gone,” he said.
“The community has already gone a long way in preparing for the rehabilitation of mined areas for purposes of expanding the herbal project and we have been told that we will export the traditional herbs to Germany,” he said. Hot temperatures are ideal for the growth of traditional herbs.