Cooking oil manufacturers have bemoaned the low production of raw materials such as soya beans, sunflower and cotton seed in the country, a challenge they said is making it hard for them to sustain their operations.
Local cooking oil manufacturers including United Refineries Limited, Surface Wilmar and Pure Oil Industries have also raised red flags over foreign currency shortages.
In an interview with 263Chat yesterday, United Refineries Limited’s Chief Executive Officer, Busisa Moyo said the industry faces prolonged challenges in sustaining operations due to the poor supply of raw materials at domestic level.
“Low yields in soya beans production and other critical crops such as cotton has impacted heavily in our operations as continue to struggle in meeting high consumer demands for cooking oil” said Busisa Moyo.
“We have however started a soya bean outgrowing campaign under the Soya Bean Outgrower Alliance (SOBOA) initiative. We are looking at 7,500 hectares to be committed by our farmers towards soya beans production and so far we have managed to achieve 60% of that target” added Busisa Moyo.
He bemoaned the poor allocation of foreign currency for the manufacturing sector by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with the bigger chunk going towards the purchase of fuels in the energy sector.
Since Zimbabwe has not been producing enough soya beans, cotton seed and sunflower for cooking oil manufacturing, the local producers have now resorted to importing substitute critical raw materials such as Crude Oil, Hexane, Pet Resin, and Vitamins from neighboring countries like South Africa and Mozambique.