Beverage manufacturer, Delta Corporation says it will invest at least $590 000 for the production of 2 000 tonnes of sorghum during the 2014/ 15 cropping season. Delta Community Projects manager Tsungie Manyeza said farmers in Muzarabani and Mukumbura would be contracted to produce the sorghum.
“The company has an ongoing sorghum contracting scheme covering both commercial and communal farmers for both red and white (mafia) sorghum,” she said.
“The 2014/15 season contracted hectarage will be around 4 000 hectares targeting the communal sector in Muzarabani and Mukumbura.”
Mrs Manyeza said the envisaged hectorage would be an increase from last season’s 3 955 hectors.
She said the contract schemes were an ongoing programmer and therefore would be maintained into the foreseeable future.
“The committed hectarage will be driven by the business requirements. The hectares to be committed for 2015 will depend on the anticipated volumes of sorghum beer and Eagle Lager but also depend on the yields achieved by the farmers and the rainfall patterns,” she said.
Small Grains and Cereal Producers Association chairman Basil Nyabadza also told The Herald Business that the country was still to break into the regional and international markets for the crop, which was still being sold on the domestic scale.
He said white sorghum is a profitable crop and that there are ready markets locally with Ingwebu Breweries in Bulawayo and Delta Beverages contracting a number of farmers to grow it.
The yields from communal farmers traditionally hovered around one tonne per hectare while the target for commercial was around 3, 5 tonnes to 5 tonnes per same unit area.
Delta requires a total of 12 000 tonnes of red and white sorghum annually.