Soya in mod­est earn­ing of $USD70mil­lion, Cot­ton ex­ports fetch US$48mil­lion

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

SOYA beans and Soya oil cake ex­ports recorded mod­est ex­port earn­ings of about ZMW693mil­lion (about US$70mil­lion) from Jan­uary to De­cem­ber 2017.

Soy­bean has sev­eral uses, due to its com­po­si­tion it can be used for both hu­man con­sump­tion and an­i­mal feed, in in­dus­trial prod­ucts or feed­stock for agro in­dus­try. Oil, flour and soy­bean meal are prod­ucts orig­i­nated from grain pro­cess­ing.

Soya oil has high nu­tri­tional value, and is used in many prod­ucts for hu­man nutri­tion. In ad­di­tion, it is also an im­por­tant feed­stock for in­dus­trial pur­poses, such as paints, plas­tics or bio­fu­els. Cot­ton on the other hand was the 5th largest ex­port earner com­plet­ing the list of Zam­bia top 5 Agro crop ex­ports for 2017.

Soya ex­ports at this mod­est pro­duc­tion and ex­port value lev­els made the crop rank 4th most im­por­tant.

Soya beans and soya oil cake ex­ports how­ever recorded strong earn­ings, and was sec­ond among agro ex­ports record­ing val­ues for Novem­ber 2017, to the tune of K155mil­lion (about USD15.5mil­lion), up from Oc­to­bers K59mil­lion (about USD5.9mil­lion) rep­re­sent­ing a 260% in­crease month on month.

Soya has re­bounded with an in­crease in pro­duc­tion to 351,000mt for the 2016/2017 har­vest sea­son. No­table play­ers are Cargill and Mount Meru.

The crop has emerged as a ver­sa­tile and im­por­tant crop for pro­duc­tion of cook­ing oil and a sup­ple­ment to an­i­mal feeds. The lo­cal mar­ket for soya also con­tin­ues to grow es­pe­cially in the an­i­mal and chicken feed sec­tor, with the lo­cal poul­try pro­duc­tion be­ing one of its ag­gres­sive growth ar­eas.

On the other hand, cot­ton pro­duc­tion re­tains great po­ten­tial and has not re­ceived large scale in­vest­ments to sup­port the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the lo­cal value chain. The cloth crop re­quires the es­tab­lish­ment of large cot­ton grow­ing an­chor farms that have links into the global cot­ton value chain.

This model is what has aided the thriv­ing of other top (4) crops. The other chal­lenge with cot­ton re­mains the lack of a ready mar­ket lo­cally. The de­funct cot­ton mills at Mu­lun­gushi in Kabwe and Zam­bezi in Liv­ing­stone have not seen the takeover of the erst­while fa­cil­i­ties by glob­ally linked Cot­ton Agro com­pa­nies, mak­ing the lo­cal cul­ti­va­tion sub­ject to the whims of the fluc­tu­at­ing global cot­ton prices.

Even the an­nounced re-open­ing of the Mu­lun­gushi textiles in 2016 has not come to fruition as there is need for a co­or­di­nated ap­proach and pol­icy guide­lines to re-start cred­i­ble lo­cal pro­duc­tion and value chain sup­port.

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