Oil producers to buy local soya bean

Oil producers to buy local soya bean
Published: 30 August 2017
Oil producers have agreed to buy soya bean produced locally at $500 per tonne as part of efforts to promote local production, Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe president Busisa Moyo said yesterday.

The development comes after Government reduced soya bean import permits and urged the oil processors to first buy locally and import later in a bid to increase local soya bean production. Prior to that development, oil producers favoured cheaper soya imports that went for $350 per tonne.

Mr Moyo, conceded that in the long run the use of local soya bean will help to save foreign exchange. He said: "For soya bean farmers who are willing to supply us, we will give them the required $500 per tonne to improve their production and their welfare.

"If the farmers have the readily available soya bean, we are willing to buy it but the point is that the 30 000 tonnes will only sustain us for three months. We need extra soya bean going forward.

"Going forward, we are very keen to commit on Command Soya Bean in the 2017/2018 summer cropping season and we need to ensure that we exceed 150 000 tonnes of the soya bean output.

"We need $100 million worth of inputs, irrigation infrastructure and 100 000 hectares to grow soya bean in the next summer season." He said the facility would be for contracted farmers and administered by the cooking oil manufacturers.

The country's cooking oil processors have over the years been forced to import their raw materials owing to shortage of soya beans, cotton and sunflower. The sector at the moment imports soya bean and semi-processed crude oil for further processing.

Last year, Zimbabwe imported crude soya bean oil worth $119,9 million. Sakunda Holdings, which has been financing Government's agricultural schemes, is said to have since committed about $47,8 million towards soya bean production.

Financial support will allow farmers to produce enough soya bean to service the market. Meanwhile, Mr Moyo said that local manufacturers are currently at 60 percent capacity utilisation.

Cooking oil imports had reduced significantly due to the introduction of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which restricts the importation of cooking oil, building materials and other raw products into the country.

When operating at capacity, oil manufacturers have a potential to produce 12 000 tonnes of cooking oil per month, well above the current market demand of 10 000 metric tonnes.

Oil expressers membership grew from three enterprises to seven since the implementation of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016. Farmers managed to attain 30 000 tonnes from last season's harvest and expect to earn around $15 million from the produce.

Over 2 200 farmers have registered to take part in Government's initiative to boost soya bean production in collaboration with various stakeholders from the soya bean value chain.

Over 25 000 hectares had been registered under soya bean production for next summer cropping season.
- the herald
Tags: Oil, Soya,


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