ZIMBABWE – Innscor Africa Holdings, Zimbabwe’s iconic manufacturer of consumer staples, has contributed to 22% of the country’s wheat production following a successful contract wheat farming scheme strategy, Julian Schonken, the company CEO has said.

Schonken was speaking at the company’s listing ceremony at the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange where he revealed that the milestone was achieved due to the company’s intensified investment towards self-sufficiency and reduced reliance on imports.

Zimbabwe has been making progress toward attaining self-sufficiency in wheat through increasing local production in a bid to wean itself from import bills that are becoming unreliable

The county has managed to increase the area under wheat production from 24,000 hectares (ha) in 2019 to 80,000 ha in 2022.

Schonken reports that Innscor was the main contributor to wheat volumes from the private sector during the winter season.

“Of the 20,000 ha covered by the private sector, Innscor managed 13 000 ha, a whopping 65%,” Schonken said.

He further revealed that the 13,000 ha of wheat contributed 78,000 metric tonnes of the local wheat produced for the season, representing 22% of total local production.

In addition to wheat production, the group prides itself in supporting local agriculture through an extensive contract-growing scheme to enhance the production of key commodities required for the production of critical food products.

Schonken said that the company has around 34,000 hectares of contract farming operating across Zimbabwe under summer/winter rotation (covering maize, soya beans, and wheat), and is managed by Growth and PHI.

“We will continue to enhance and grow our contract farming schemes as these represent key sources of raw material commodities for many of our business units,” he said.

As Zimbabwe commits to maneuvering the volatility of international prices, agricultural inputs are the major setback in increasing production. 

To boost farmer productivity, Schonken revealed that Innscor had invested in a new fertilizer plant that will provide competitively priced fertilizer inputs.

He further revealed that Innscore will is planning on executing a fresh investment pipeline of US$56m in the current period, ending June 30, 2023.

The new investment follows a US$71m investment program for the 12 months ending June 30, 2022.

“This will bring our total investment to around US$127m for the 2022 and 2023 financial periods,” Schonken added.

ZSE-listed Innscore Holding has an impressive track record spanning 35 years and is involved in a diverse array of businesses ranging from milling, manufacturing, crocodile breeding, automotive, meat processing, and agriculture.

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