AFC, CBZ to fund 225 000 hectares of cereal crops

21 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
AFC, CBZ to fund 225 000 hectares of cereal crops

eBusiness Weekly

Business Writer

The country’s leading financial institutions, AFC Bank and CBZ, have revealed will support over 225 000 hectares of cereal crops production under the National Enhanced Agriculture Productivity Scheme (NEAPS) for the forthcoming 2022/23 summer cropping season.

Professor Obert Jiri, the chief Director, of Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development revealed this last week.

According to Jiri, four programmes are currently in motion to bolster agriculture activity for the impending farming season.

This is notable determination in efforts to ramp up the country’s food security and more emphasis is being channeled towards the production of the main crops to improve local food, feed, and oil sufficiency in the country.

CBZ has set a target of 150 000 hectares of maize and 20 000 hectares of soyabeans, while AFC is looking at covering 55 000 hectares with maize.

On the other hand, the Presidential input scheme is now at about 54 percent of seed and fertiliser distribution across the country with efforts to disburse inputs to many households as possible across the country.

To support this sufficient compound D fertilisers has been distributed in the country.

In that same regard, some private contractors under Food Crop Contractors Association (FCCA), have started making financial arrangements for contract farming in their drive to localise their requisite raw material procurement.

Although no specific hectarage has been mentioned, FCCA is expected to chip in with a considerably huge hectarage through contract farming as they aim to enhance production that suit their requirements.

“We are focusing on food, oil, and feed security, so on food security we are focusing on maize and the small grains, on feed security we are focusing on soyabean, and for oil security, we are talking of cotton and sunflower these are our strategic crops and main focus.

“AFC and CBZ are the institutions that run command agriculture, which we now call National Enhanced Agriculture Productivity Scheme and CBZ aims to put 150 000 hectares under maize and 20 000 hectares of soyabeans, AFC intends to do 55 000 hectares maize, they both are bullish in terms of surpassing those targets, as they have not indicated intentions to reduce the target,” said Jiri.

“The forecast is that we are going to have normal to above normal and so far it has come out as forecasted, we therefore, encourage farmers to start their planting making sure that they match the crop to agro-ecological region they do their farming in,” he said.

Delta Beverages in its half-year performance to September 2022 hinted on allotting more capital expenditure towards increasing production and reviving its out-grower scheme so as to guarantee supply of raw materials like sorghum and barley.

In his remarks at an analyst briefing, Delta chief executive officer, Matlhogonolo Valela said; “the company will start to utilise its farmers as they seek to ramp up production and reduce supply chain disruptions.”

United Refineries chief executive officer, Busisa Moyo, indicated that his company was enhancing the scale of its Soyabean Outgrower Alliance (SOBOA) scheme this year.

The scheme is an out-grower initiative focusing on the cultivation of soyabean, which will be processed for different uses at United Refineries.

“We will be continuing with our SOBOA scheme at a better scale this year, the out-grower schemes are helpful as they reduce imports into the country and the import bill, they also have a multiplier effect on related downstream industries especially those in manufacturing of agriculture equipment,” said Moyo.


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