OIL Expressers Edible Oils Indaba

The soya value chain is broken and require concerted efforts from all relevant stakeholders to ensure that value is created for the benefit of the value chain and the economy as a whole.

In recognition of the importance of value chain, the Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe (OEAZ) hosted Edible Oils Indaba, inviting different players for sharing of different views towards the development of the country’s soya value chain before engaging government.

SEEDCO demonstrated the potential in the country’s agriculture. Through research, local soya varieties have been improving and climate and arable land have been favourable. Comparing Zimbabwe to some of the biggest soya bean producers in the world such as the United States and neighboring Zambia, it was noted that Zimbabwe can be competitive once again if stakeholders work together to improve soya bean production. Currently Zimbabwe is producing an average of 2 tonnes per ha compared to other who exceeding 4 tonnes per ha.

The seed house emphasized on the essence of using certified seeds, careful application of pesticides and proper use and fertilizers as key to achieving good soya bean yield.

Soya bean is a crucial crop to the country’s economy as it is useful to many sectors. It is a key ingredient in the making of stock feeds and low productivity may impact local livestock production.

Local soya producers incur high costs as the crop requires much attention compared to other crops. High cost of production and poor yields lead to high cost of production per tonne leading demand for high producer prices by farmers. Landed cost of importing soya from Zambia is about $400 per tonne, and local producer price is about $550/tonne.

Soya bean farmers continue to face financing challenges since they cannot easily access loans due to lack of collateral. Most farmers in soya production are practicing on small units of land on 99year leases.

The cost of borrowing money is also not comprehensive for smallholder farmers. However the banks are set to engage OEAZ to put a plan to fund soya bean farmers at about 7.5 % interest. This will also attract more soya bean farmers hence increasing local soya supply. 

CZI President Mr. Sifelani Jabangwe said that, “Value chains play a significant role in reviving the economy and eradicating poverty as it comes with employment creation through supporting small scale farmers.”

Command Agriculture on maize partly reduced Soya bean production as it was more profitable thereby attracting more farmers to alternatively grow maize. This contributes to the OEAZ member companies to turn to importing since there is no adequate supply locally.

Concluding the session, the OEAZ Chairman, Mr. Busisa Moyo said, “We should continue to come up with home grown solutions to localise the entire Soya Bean Value Chain starting with farming supported by value chain financing, to completely eliminate soya bean imports in 5-8 years’ time.”

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