Decentralized Oil Production in Zimbabwe
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CTA. 1995. Decentralized Oil Production in Zimbabwe. Spore 60. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47182
The intermediate Technology Zimbabwe (ITZ) decentralized oil project is an example of a successful small-scale food processing enterprise. In the past, all cooking oil in Zimbabwe has been supplied by four main producers using a solvent extraction...
The intermediate Technology Zimbabwe (ITZ) decentralized oil project is an example of a successful small-scale food processing enterprise. In the past, all cooking oil in Zimbabwe has been supplied by four main producers using a solvent extraction method. This method of extraction is only suitable for use on a large-scale because of the costs incurred in the process. When this project started, there was a shortage of edible oil in Zimbabwe which meant that the prices were too high for the majority of rural people. The four mills dictate the quality and minimal quantity of seeds supplied by the farmer and control the price of edible oil. ITZ evaluated the oil production technologies available and decided to introduce the Tinytech Oil Mill at 15 sites throughout Zimbabwe (see Spore 50 p 10). The sites chosen were mainly either small towns or designated growth points. The Tinytech Oil Mill is manufactured in India. Although it is imported into Zimbabwe, the design of the machine is such that it can be repaired and maintained in workshops in Zimbabwe. It was not financially viable to manufacture the mill locally. The machine has a capacity of 90 kg seed/hour and an oil extraction rate of 22% which produces an average of 19.8 litres of oil per hour. After field testing and evaluating the mill, it was found to be a commercially viable venture. On average, the mill returned 51% per year on typical investments of between Z$150,000 and 200,000. Profits on the sale of oil were 21%. A typical mill employs ten people on a permanent basis and three temporary workers, with higher than average monthly income of Z$414 against the rural average of Z$163. The oil mills offer a ready cash market for sunflower seeds which are grown mainly by communal and small-holder farmers. The farmers benefit through receiving ready cash for their produce, reduced transport costs to the mill and a lack of restrictions governing the minimum amount of seed which the miller will purchase. A typical mill buys seed worth Z$300,000 from 650 farmers per year. Because of the reduced transport and running costs, the mill is able to sell the pure sunflower oil at a lower cost (Z$2.05 cheaper) than the four large producers who sell refined blended oils. Since it is pure sunflower oil, it is also of a higher quality than the blended oils sold by the large producers. In addition to the farmers, other beneficiaries include school children who collect bottles for recycling, fuelwood suppliers and local maintenance workshops.