By Barbara Nyagomo-Chakabva
BANKET: I am a Zimbabwean returnee who recently moved from the United Kingdom (UK).
Most would agree that one is never entirely ready to return home.
It was until I did ‘The Needs and Wants’ assessment in the Diaspora (UK), that reality hit me in the face and only then, I decided to spent more time on the ground in the homeland.
It only takes one project to open up layers of real needs, opportunities and possibilities. For me and my team, we impulsively picked the piggery project first and soon learnt that without food, the pigs will stage a demo and can even eat you alive.
Up to 60-70% of costs on animal husbandry is the feed.
So to cut down on animal feed costs this 2020-2021 season, we grew maize, sunflower and soya beans.
Our aim is to be self-sustainable with no bills and have minimal costs to run our farm. We want to start to farm both our poultry and stock feed.
So far we have bought a grinding mill to grind the food before mixing.
On the other hand, you want to make sure you don’t get it too fine when grinding for pigs and poultry because the danger of ulceration is high. So the target is a kind of happy medium, ground enough to make the grain digestible and evenly mixed, but not too finely ground as to create health issues.
We are currently looking for a pellet machine and oil pressing machine.
We are trying to earn some money from value addition of our farm crops and animal products. This can be done in endless ways.
For now, we are planning on oil pressing the soya Beans and sunflowers to produce cooking oil.
Sunflower is crushed for oil recovery via one of two process methods, hard pressing or pre-press solvent extraction. Hard pressing relies upon exerting high pressure on the prepared seed to separate oil from the solids fraction, historically recovering about 25% oil from the seed.
We will then use the crushed sunflower and soya beans pulp/cake to feed our stock.
Watch the space, I will soon be making pellets for my stock too. The value of farm products can be increased in endless ways.