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Small scale famers urged to grow castor beans

by commuadmin
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…as drive to leverage fuel shortages gathers momentum

Heather Chikonan’ombe

Marondera – Small scale farmers have been urged to come on board pertaining farming of castor beans so as to leverage incessant fuel shortages in Zimbabwe.

Castor bean is one of the several biomasses used in the production of bio-diesel, a renewable fuel that could be used as direct substitute for diesel.

In Zimbabwe, the demand for diesel is high than that of petrol, averaging around three million liters per day while petrol averages two million liters per day.

As a way of encouragement, Oil Castor Zimbabwe sales executive, Careen Yosef told CommuTalk that they will support small scale famers willing to join the trade which is currently being undertaken by 150 commercial famers countrywide.

“We are encouraging farmers from across the board to take up this income generating plant. As you might know, castor bean can be used in the production of cosmetics but most importantly it can be used in the generation of fuel.

“We are ready to assist small scale famers willing to come aboard with knowledge and areas of need which we feel the company has capacity to assist,” Yosef said.

Castor beans takes at least four months after germination to harvest and Oil Castor Zimbabwe has a plant in Marondera from which they produce bio-diesel; a direct replacement for diesel.

“Our aim is to industrialize the country, create a huge income base for farmers. At the moment we have over 400 small scale farmers in rural areas who took up castor with 150 commercial famers already started harvesting,” added Yosef.

Apart from leveraging fuel production, the castor bean is also used in the production of hydraulic oil and cosmetic.

 

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