The country is on the verge of being self sufficient in the production of cooking oil with the seven oil expressers currently producing 95 percent of the country’s needs up from 15 percent five years ago.

The high cotton yields in the country are set to boost the production of cooking oil given that the cotton seed is a major primary resource in the cooking oil industry which depends on oil seeds such as sunflower, soya beans, cotton and groundnuts.

In an interview with the ZBC News, president of the Oil Expressers Association, Mr Busisa Moyo said the oil industry remains the leader in attaining the ZIM ASSET vision of value addition and beneficiation given that they are in the middle on the production value chain that includes cotton to oil and cake meal for stock feed together with the soya to oil and white meat value chain.

He said the sector continues to grow its capacity utilisation where in 2006 the country only had three companies producing cooking oil and the sector has grown to seven players in the industry.

This growth has positioned the nation to look at export markets in Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is anticipated the country will save millions of dollars in imports of stock feeds through the full utilisation of the entire value chain that also focuses on stock feed production for both livestock and poultry.

This will ultimately trigger revival in the meat and leather value chains.