Boost for cooking oil industry

HARARE - The cooking oil industry in Zimbabwe is banking on a boost in soya bean plantings to avert a shortage of cooking oil and stock feeds on the domestic market this year.

This comes after Sakunda Private Limited provided $48,7 million, half of a $100 million loan facility to support oilseed farmers, with government bankrolling the remainder.

Government is looking at planting 60 000 hectares of the crop by November, with production expected to scale 150 million metric tons a year.

Nationally, the soya bean industry is expected to meet a national need of 200 000 tonnes this season but farmers have dumped the crop due to lack of financing.

“The situation remains critical and we trust that the availability of soya beans from the local crop and tobacco foreign currency inflows (will) buoy performance for the quarter commencing April 1,” Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe chairperson Busisa Moyo said.

“The industry is operating at between 30-40 percent of refining, but 0-10 percent soya bean crushing capacity,” Moyo said.

The soya beans’ financing is under Command Agriculture. — Staff Writer

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