HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has expanded command agriculture to include soya beans with the aim of stopping the importation of the crop, which is used for a number of purposes in the country, an official has said.
The move is expected to stop the importation of soya beans by May next year on the back of increased production.
Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development deputy Minister responsible for cropping Davis Marapira said by May next year, importation of soya beans whould stop following the government intervention.
“Government has also extended soya beans into the Command Agriculture program to increase output. We are expecting to stop importation of soya beans by May next year when we start harvesting,” he said.
The government is leading mobilization of $150 million required for the 2017/18 Command Soya Bean Scheme.
Statistics show that the country spent $19 million importing soya bean in the first eight months of this year.
Soya beans is a critical raw material in the production of edible oil as well as for numerous industrial purposes.
Zimbabwean farmers are producing an average of 30 000 tons of the crop, against a national requirement of 300 000 tons.
The government has since set up a Soyabean Promotion Taskforce to promote production of the crop among smallholder farmers. – New Ziana