HARARE – Innscor Africa (Innscor) has doubled its contract farming scheme to 20 000 hectares for the 2021/22 season compared to the prior season, aiming to achieve a significant growth in the volume of raw materials it sources locally.
The company is a focused group of light manufacturing businesses which, together with various strategically integrated agricultural operations, produce a number of Zimbabwe’s iconic brands in the consumer staple product space.
The group’s contract farming scheme largely focuses on maize, soya and sugar beans. In addition to that, the group has investments in the dairy sector.
Chairman, Addington Chinake, said the groups’ out grower scheme was being spearheaded by PHI Contracting (PHI), through its dedicated contract farming entity, Agrowth Farming.
“It is expected that 6 000 hectares of maize and 4 000 hectares of soya will be planted this year. As always, the scheme will be managed by PHI.
“The group harvested 5 000 hectares of winter wheat this year. PHI continues its focus of empowering farmers and expanding local production to reduce reliance on imported commodities,” he said in a statement of the group’s 2021 annual report.
He said the group’s scheme continued to expand its direct farming operations through a combination of organic growth where a further two farms had been brought into commercial production with an additional 600 hectares of irrigation. The firm also invested in existing row crop operation, adding a further 1 200 hectares under irrigation.
“The recently established seed potato production unit has yielded its first commercial crop, and this will greatly assist in the group’s drive for import substitution,” he added.
Chinake also noted that PHI Livestock had become a major supplier of beef in the country, working in conjunction with World Vision.
“PHI has also established two cattle business centres in the Dotito and Mayo communal areas, bringing much-needed assistance and infrastructure to those areas in support of animal husbandry,” he said.
During the year under review, the group registered volume recoveries across all business units, driven by firmer demand, and this allowed for a trading-oriented focus to be adopted within all operations.
“An above-normal 2020/21 rainfall season also contributed to the general economic improvement, as the country emerged from an extended period of drought, giving rise to increased production and supply of key local raw materials such as maize and wheat.
“The stable operating environment also gave rise to various corrections within the real cost base of our businesses,” Mr Chinake said.
He noted that in addition to the persistently high cost of debt, pricing corrections to the fuel, power, maintenance and human capital cost lines impacted the overhead base whilst gross margin levels approached more normalised levels, as inflation-induced distortions dissipated. – Herald