Home » Business » ’Cooking Oil Sector Set to Meet Local Demand’

THE newly elected Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Busisa Moyo has said the cooking oil sector is expected to cover local demand which is around 11 000 tonnes by the end of the year if capacity is increased.

Mr Moyo, who was elected along with his deputies Mr Sifelani Jabangwe and Ms Tracy Mutaviri at the CZI annual general meeting yesterday, said oil manufacturers are producing about 10 000 tonnes of cooking oil per month but will be able to cover the shortfall by year end.

“We have a gap of about 1 000 tonnes at current capacity of 60 percent. There are four players in the sector. If we all go up to 100 percent you can see we have more than enough capacity. So there should be no imports of cooking oil, for it is increasing the import deficit. We should be producing the cooking oil locally,” said Mr Moyo who is also United Refineries chief executive.

He said players in the sector are aocating for an environment that supports the production of agricultural inputs.

“Behind cooking oil there are oil seeds, soya, cotton and sunflower growing. All those are businesses that we can engage communities and create inclusive growth,” said Mr Moyo.

He said by year-end the sector wants to be able to meet demand and avoid exporting labour through imports.

“We would like to be able to say to the minister that by the end of this year there will be no need for even one drop of cooking oil to be imported.

“Let’s build our agro sector. We are employing people in the agro sector in South Africa every time we buy imported cooking oil. We are not against South Africa but we have our own economy, this is our home, our Zimbabwe and we need to start looking after it through these inclusive value chains that take care of the rural communities,” said Mr Moyo.

The CZI president said the federation will continue to lobby Government for a conducive environment for business to grow.

But the cost and ease of doing business is a major concern to manufacturers.

“The operating environment for business in terms of cost and how easy it is to do business in Zimbabwe remains a big concern to players.

“Opening a factory, there are a myriad of permits and process that one has to go through. We think that should be made easier so that we allow new business to come up,” said Mr Moyo.

CZI is lobbying Government to do away with the myriad of permits and licenses required before setting up shop.

Mr Moyo said there is need to protect existing businesses, which have withstood the test of times and facilitate new investment.

Prior to his election Mr Moyo was CZI Matabeleland Chapter president while Mr Jabangwe was Mashonaland Chapter president.

Source : The Herald