HARARE – United Refineries Limited has partnered with Zimbabwe Agriculture Development Trust (ZADT), Agribank, Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), ZB, and FBC to boost Soyabean production in the next eight years.
Running under the name Soya Bean Outgrowers Alliance (SOBOA) the arrangement aims to cultivate the crop on at least 7,500 hectares targeting a minimum of 15 000 tonnes. Collective farming schemes and individual farmers with 10 hectares of land and above will benefit from the plan.
Also in-cooperated in the arrangement are Seed.Co and Agricura for the provision of seed and herbicides respectively whilst Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company (ZFC) will centre on fertilizer provision.
Soyabeans is one of Zimbabwe’s major imports having gobbled $64, 7 million which according to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is two percent of the country’s total imports up to June (from January) this year.
Having local produced beans will reduce the demand of imported Crude Degummed Soya Bean Oil (CDSBO) and will lessen the amount of foreign currency used for purchase of the raw material.
“As United Refineries limited we are partnering with financiers such as CBZ, ZADT, ZB, Agribank and FBC for funding of the SOBOA programme. Seedco for seed input, Agricura for herbicides, ZFC for fertilisers and we want to sustain this program for the next eight years.
“The opportunity will be given to farmers with at least 10 hectares of land to partner with us to grow soya beans under our Soya Bean Outgrowers Alliance,” said United Refineries limited.
The company’s partnership with farmers follows pressing need for the availability of local soya for crushing and manufacturing cooking oil. Having locally produced beans will reduce the demand of imported crude degummed soya bean oil CDSBO which will lower the amount of foreign currency used for purchase of cooking oil raw material.
United Refineries said it will assist with a letter of guaranteed uptake plus help farmers to access finance from banks on case by case basis.