An ambitious soya bean out grower scheme programme with a target of one million tonnes of soya by 2030 which is sufficient enough for local demand and surplus for exports is on the cards.

The collaboration between the oil expressers and the farmers who are currently producing just 400 000 tonnes of the crop is expected to uplift the economy and close the importation gap of soya and crude edible oils which is a huge cost to the nation.

To date they have secured 3 300 hectares of land for soya bean cultivation and are hopeful that there would be gradual growth of the sector as they reach out to more farmers, said the president of the Oil Expressers Association Mr Busisa Moyo.

“The programme of soya out grower scheme is expected to get to a target of one million tones and at that stage we will be able to produce efficiently for the market and also export the other product,” he said.

Mr Moyo explained that the focus on soyabeans and not the other oilseed crops like sunflower and cotton is motivated by the value chain approach which includes soya milk, cooking oil, stock feed and white meat which have impact on the economy.

Individual companies are also working on having access to land near water bodies so that they can grow their own soya beans and using irrigation technologies.