ZIMBABWE – National foods Holdings, a leading agri-industrial company in Zimbabwe, has doubled down on contract farming in push to support Zimbabwe’s drive to substitute imports with local produce.
At the heart of contract farming (CF) lies an agreement between farmers (producers) and buyers, both agree in advance on the terms and conditions for the production and marketing of farm products.
During the 2022 annual report, the company’s chairman Mr. Todd Moyo hinted that the company was continuing to support contract farming for strategic crops such as maize, soya beans, and sorghum.
He revealed that the company supported the production of 40 000 hectares of maize and soya beans this summer season. In addition, the group produced around 12 000 hectares of winter wheat, representing a significant portion of the contracted crop.
National Foods efforts have received acclamation from the government with Dr. John Basera, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary expressed his gratitude to the company for their contribution to food security.
Speaking during a tour at National Food’s Aspindale unit in Harare recently , Dr. Basera said: “Contract farming is an important aspect of the development process, as it provides manufacturers with a guaranteed source of raw materials.”
The development comes at a time when the government is calling on companies to source 40 percent of their raw materials locally in a move towards attaining self-sufficiency as well as supporting the country’s primary production sector.
Dr. Basera emphasized the private sector’s participation in the production of raw materials is beneficial to the commercial viability of agriculture for both farmers and the agro-processing industry, as the country moves to expand the food crops value chain.
“It is crucial to treat farming as a business and in turn create market linkages for farmers who are willing to produce that which is consumed by industries,” said Dr. Basera.
The giant milling company is involved in flour and maize milling, stock feed, and cereal production as well as projects in groceries, snacks, treats, and cooking oil manufacturing.
Further, National Foods Holdings is set to invest US$30 million into new projects that include a new flour mill, a second breakfast cereal product, and a substantial reinvestment into the stock feeds plant.
Mr. Moyo revealed that the investment is in line with the expansion being witnessed in the agriculture industry.