Government moves to sanitise soya bean market

by | Apr 26, 2021 | Business, Local News | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba

The government has added soya beans to the list of controlled grains, a move meant to nip illicit transactions in the bud.

Through the recently gazetted, Statutory Instrument 97 of 2021, side marketing and exporting of soya beans by farmers has been outlawed.

The legislation is introducing a fine of three times the value of the products that would have been side marketed or imprisonment of not more than two years.

“No person, statutory body, company or entity shall buy or otherwise acquire any soya beans from a contract farmer without a prior contractual obligation to do so,” read the statutory instrument.

The move is set to ensure that Zimbabwe has adequate soya bean stocks before it can sell to other jurisdictions.

Zimbabwe has been using millions to import crude oil to produce cooking oil, which is a by-product of soya beans.The Statutory Instrument, (SI) 96 of 2021 & SI 97 of 2021 is meant to give contractors guarantees that their investments would be safe in Zimbabwe, while unlocking fresh funding as the playing field levels out, in line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision 2030.

The Grain Marketing (Control of Sales for Soya Beans) regulations under S.I. 96 of 2021 funnel all soya beans grown in the country to either Contractor in the case of contract farmers or Grain Marketing Board for every other farmer.

Legal experts have given a nod to this statutory instrument saying it is truly in favour of the local refinery industry and food security.
“The legislation recognises Soya Beans as a strategic crop for the nation and seeks to regulate its trade and movement.
This is evidenced by restricting the movement of soya beans from one district to another except in the case that there is no GMB depot in the district the soya beans are coming from,” one legal practitioner told Tateguru Tv.

She said that S.I. 96 assures that soya beans find its way into the value addition cycle via GMB.
“Barring the exportation of soya beans is positive for the cooking oil manufacturing industry of Zimbabwe as the raw material is locally grown. The SI puts and to the shortage that was caused by leaks out the country via side marketing,” added the legal expert.

“Private players are recognised and protected by the same legislation in clauses that ring-fence the marketing of contractors by farmers under contract farming and to GMB for those not under contract.
It’s important to read the document holistically to capture all facts,” she added.

The contractors and private players are however barred from exporting soya beans bought from farmers under contract with them.