ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed food processing giant National Foods Holdings Limited will this season produce maize and soya beans on 40 000ha, as it heeds the Government’s call for industry to participate in the production of 40 percent of its raw material requirements.
In an annual report for 2022, the company’s chairman Mr Todd Moyo said the company continued to keenly support contract farming of strategic crops such as maize, soybeans and sorghum and was targeting 40 000 hectares of maize and soya beans this.
The development comes at a time the Government is calling on companies to source 40 percent of their raw materials locally in a strategic move to support the country’s primary production sector.
The various products grown under this programme now constitute a significant portion of the group’s raw material requirements.
Mr Moyo further revealed that the group produced around 12 000 ha of winter wheat representing a significant portion of the contracted crop.
“Prospects for a bumper winter wheat harvest are high this season with the nation is targeting to reduce the import bill,” he said.
In addition, National Foods Holdings is set to invest US$30 million into new projects such as a new flour mill, a second breakfast cereal and a substantial re-investment into the stock feeds plant as the country’s agriculture industry rebounds on growth.
“The installations have commenced for a new flour milling plant in Bulawayo that is on track for commissioning early next year. The new flour mill will increase the company’s wheat milling capacity to process an additional 2 000 tonnes of wheat per month,” said Mr Moyo.
The establishment of the flour mill in Bulawayo dovetails into the Government’s devolution agenda of industrialising production zones to boost local economies through employment creation.
The group is also embarking on an exciting period of expansion with the entry into a number of new categories, as it seeks to value add its portfolio of basic products.
Mr Moyo observed that the introduction of a new milling plant will see the localised manufacturing of products, which had previously been imported reducing foreign currency requirements and increasing demand for locally processed products.
Mr Moyo added: “Our team remains intensely focused on delivering a range of quality, healthy and affordable products, which ultimately will offer improved choice to consumers.”
The group’s volume for the period increased by eight percent to 569, 000 tonnes from 523, 480 tonnes compared to the previous year resulting in a revenue increase of 33 percent to $128, 4 billion (local currency) from $86 billion.