Olivine targets 10 000 ha for soya beans this year

Harare May 28, 2012 (New Ziana)-Edible oils producer Olivine Industries will this cropping season spend US$1, 6 million contracting farmers to produce soya bean on 10 000 hectares, up from 2 000 hectares last year.
Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Agro-Industry Company (AICO) Africa Limited jointly owned Olivine Industries with a 51 percent and 49 percent stake respectively.
Shortages of soya beans, liquidity crunch and imported products have affected the company’s viability over the years.
AICO Africa Limited group chief executive officer Patrick Devenish said soya beans was one of the major raw materials at Olivine.
“We have been funding soya bean production in the country and in the 2012/13 farming season we are increasing the hectarage under contract farming to 10 000 hectares from 2 000.
“We want to ensure the availability of raw materials so we need more of the crop,” he said.
Devenish said the company would buy the product at prevailing market prices.
“Through contract farming farmers are guaranteed of a market which is one of the important things in farming,” he said.
“Farmers will be paid markets rates,” he added.
Soya bean production has been on the decline over the years due to lack of markets as local companies had reduced production as consumers preferred cheap imports.
Currently soya bean is fetching US$530 per tonne.
Established in 1931, Olive manufactures a wide range of consumer and industrial products such as vegetable oils, margarines, bakers’ fats, soaps, candles, dried beans and a wide range of canned foods.
New Ziana

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