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28 September 2012 14:33:35 |

Zimbabwe soya bean farmers appeal to government


Zimbabwe soya bean farmers have appealed for government financial and input support ahead of the 2012/13 farming season to prevent shortages of the legume next year.
National Soyabean Promotion Programme co-ordinator, Professor Sheunesu Mpepereki said government should support farmers to increase production and spur industrial growth.
Professor Mpepereki said the crop had the capacity to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if there is a good harvest.
“The biggest challenge the country is facing at the moment is how to empower the producers to increase production.
“We require policy support, finance to enable farmers to repay loans, start value addition and use the products to start other economic empowerment projects,” said Professor Mpepereki.
The country currently faces soya bean shortages following the 2011/12 poor harvests owing to varying reasons, among them, lack of inputs.
Only a third of the nation’s annual requirements, about 70 000 tonnes, was harvested during the 2011/12 cropping season.
“The shortage of soya has significant implications on industrial capacity utilisation since some raw materials are derived from the crop.
“Soya provides raw materials for food processing, industrial and livestock feed processing, which is not happening at the moment,” Professor Mpepereki added.
He added that farmers in the rural communities could use the legume as relish or process it into soya chunks that are the equivalent of meatballs.

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