Home » Industry » Late Onset of Rains Delays Soyabeans Crop

The late onset of the rains has delayed planting of soyabeans, a situation which may result in reduced yields. Ideally, soyabeans should be planted from November 15 to December 15 after the first rains.

Soyabean, which now contributes 50 percent of cooking oil production, can also be used in a variety of ways including as a substitute for meat since its highly nutritious, as a fertiliser as well as animal feeds.

National Soyabeans Promotion Taskforce chairperson Mr Sheunesu Mpepereki told New Ziana that soyabean farmers had not planted the crop.

“No soaking rains have been received so far for soyabeans seeds to germinate and we are not sure when rains are expected as they have become unpredictable and this will negatively impact on production output,” he said.

Mr Mpepereki said late rains would result in a short planting season.

“The production output is going down this year by just looking at the way the rains have delayed and this will not give farmers enough time to grow the crop,” he said.

Local production had declined to as little as 37 000 tonnes in 2010 from a peak of 170 000 tonnes in 2001 against a national requirement of 200 000 tonnes for stockfeed and cooking oil production.

Last year, the country produced 150 000 tonnes against a national target of 250 000 tonnes.

Zimbabwe has a soyabeans crushing capacity of 450 000 tonnes but the industry is currently operating below 10 percent capacity utilisation.

This year soyabean farmers received a major boost form the Presidential Well-Wishers Agricultural Input Scheme with farmers getting 25kg of seeds and 20kg of fertiliser.

The move was aimed at increasing food security levels in the country.

Source : The Herald