Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE unbundling of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) under the Government’s public enterprise reform programme is already paying dividend, with Silo Food Industries realising high profits from small grains and planning to tap into the export market.
GMB has been unbundled into the Strategic Grain Reserve unit and the Silo Food Industries, a commercial division.
Silo Food Industries began operations under its new status at the beginning of this month.
In an interview at the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), Silo Food Industries managing director Mr Daniel Maregedze said the company was promoting production of small grains.
“We have sorghum, pearl millet and rapoko and we’re pricing these fairly. We’re making the highest profit margins on small grains. This season alone we distributed about 20 000 tonnes of seed just to make sure we get small grains on the market fairly priced,” he said.
Mr Maregedze said his company had realised that the country was experiencing more droughts and shorter rainy seasons hence the promotion of small grains.
“The small grains are drought resistant and they mature even under difficult conditions. We see it as a solution to the climate change challenges,” he said.
Mr Maregedze said his company looked forward to exporting small grains to earn foreign currency.
He said Zimbabwe consumes very little coffee produced and his company could export up to 95 percent of the produce.
Mr Maregedze said plans were underway for his company to directly work on land to produce different crops as opposed to just waiting to buy from farmers.
“We’re planning to have our own land and produce crops for our business. Government is supporting us and we’ve put in an application,” he said.
Mr Maregedze said to boost food production, his company was also supporting contract farming for sugar beans, soya, popcorn, sunflower, cotton, wheat and maize. — @pamelashumba1