CBZ Bank will finance the growing of soyabeans on 30 000 hectares nationwide during the 2019/20 agriculture season, Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos has said.
Deputy Minister Haritatos said the support will go a long way towards the production of soyabean, a crop critical in the manufacture of cooking oil and livestock feed.
The financing initiative, CBZ said, was meant to curb the ever-growing import bill with regards to agricultural produce.
As part of efforts to attain a food secure country, the Government has availed $2,8 billion for the approaching farming season.
Having locally produced beans will reduce the demand of imported Crude Degummed Soya Bean Oil (CDSBO) lessening the amount of foreign currency used for purchasing of the raw material.
Addressing participants at the soya bean public seminar arranged by Crop Science Society of Zimbabwe, Deputy Minister Haritatos, said the Government was looking forward to more private sector cooperation (funding) to achieve the desired soyabean yield.
“CBZ has 30 000 hectares that they will finance that’s the bulk of it, remember soyabean falls under command agriculture, so 2019/20 season farmers will be able to access inputs for the crop.
“Hopefully, colleagues from Surface will come in to support, as you saw United Refineries are talking of 15 000 hectares.
“So, if we have CBZ’s 30 000 funded hectares, United Refineries 15 000 hectares, we will be moving in the right direction, we will be getting where we need to be as a nation.
Deputy Minister Haritatos emphasised on the need to stick to required timelines to achieve better yields.
“What we want is inputs to be distributed latest next month, famers should start planting by November 15,” said Deputy Minister Haritatos.
Also present at the event was University of Zimbabwe lecturer Professor Sheunesu Mupepereki, who advocated for farmer education and technical assistance with regards to the crop.
“Farmers have been growing soyabean, but not very high yields have been realised owing to lack of knowledge and technical assistance,” said Prof Mupepereki.
Last year United Refineries Limited partnered with Zimbabwe Agriculture Development Trust (ZADT), and reputable financial institutions to bolster soyabean production in the next eight years.
The country requires about 220 000 tonnes of soya bean annually for food, stock feed and other industrial needs.