Maputo — Three companies have responded positively to the tender launched by IGEPE (Institute for the Management of State Holdings) for a strategic partner to manage the Chokwe Agro-Industrial Complex (CAIC), in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza.
CAIC is a company owned by the state via IGEPE, inaugurated by President Filipe Nyusi in April 2015. Despite Chinese investment of 60 million US dollars, CAIC is producing almost nothing, and is currently just a financial burden on the state, which has to pay wages to CAIC workers and pay for the upkeep of the machinery.
An IGEPE source, cited in Monday's issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, said that, after the tender was launched several apparently interested companies approached IGEPE in January and February, but only three submitted formal proposals. The source did not name these three companies.
The Executive Director of IGEPE, Raimundo Matule, told “Mediafax” that the level of interest shown by the three companies opened good prospects for the effective rehabilitation of CAIC.
The three companies will now pass onto a second phase, where they have to make technical and financial bids for CAIC. This second phase of the tender will close on 23 March.
Despite the presidential inauguration of 2015, CAIC never produced at more than 12 per cent of its capacity. CAIC has machinery to process rice, tomatoes and cashew nuts. But it requires raw material, and producers did not bring their rice and tomatoes to CAIC for processing.
Indian partners were expected to invest in agriculture in the region to provide the raw materials for the complex. Factory director Mamed Abacar told reporters last year that these investors never showed up, and the CAIC ran out of raw material.
In theory, CAIC can process 60,000 tonnes of rice a year, and has the cooling facilities to store 15,000 tonnes of vegetables. But so far none of this has come to fruition.