Mozambican government searches for new investors for flower company

1 June 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 01 June – The Mozambican government plans to find new managers for Vilmar Roses, the largest flower production company in central Mozambique, which was abandoned in January by its Zimbabwe and Zambian shareholders, officials said Tuesday.

As well as bringing the production and export of flowers, to Europe in particular, to a halt the former shareholders of Vilmar Roses left 244 workers out of a job and tax debts totaling 36,000 euros.

The abandonment of Vilmar Roses, which last year exported the equivalent of 218,000 euros of flowers, is yet another example of the crisis affecting Zimbabwean farmers that settled in central Mozambique after losing their own land in Zimbabwe.

The director for Industry and Commerce of Manica Province, António Machamale, said that efforts being made for Vilmar Roses to return to production and export have the support of the Norwegian development agency, NORSAD, which also financed the company’s activities when it was still owned by the Zimbabweans and Zambians.

Despite the negative impact of the suspension of the company’s activities on Manica’s economy, the province had a total of 6.5 million euros of exports in the first quarter of the year, Machamale said. (macauhub)