DELTA Corporation says it has invested at least $2,8 million to facilitate the production of 10 500 tonnes of sorghum during the 2018 /19 agriculture season.
BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
Delta corporate affairs executive Patricia Murambinda told Standardbusiness last week that farmers from across the country had been 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 2018/19 season contracted hectares stand at around 9 400 hectares targeting all farmers from around the country.”
Murambinda said the scheme would contract sorghum farmers in areas such as Chiredzi, Buhera, Mutoko and Muzarabani.
The scheme is expected to produce 10 500 tonnes with 8 000 being red sorghum while 2 500 would be white sorghum.
Delta requires about 11 400 tonnes of red sorghum and 2 400 of white sorghum annually for its sorghum beer.
The company sorghum requirements vary every season depending on projected domestic beer consumption levels.
Sorghum beer has grown in popularity in Zimbabwe as demand for clear beer and sparkling beverages continues to weaken due to high prices and the country’s sluggish economy.
Delta’s financial year ending March 31, 2018 projects sorghum beer volumes grew by 8% above the volumes recorded at the same time in the previous year.
The increase in the consumption of sorghum beer, especially the Chibuku Super brand, came despite production of that brand of beer facing disruptions due to packaging challenges.
Local financial services group IH Securities has predicted sorghum beer to do better in the year and also in the next season with volumes growing by 5% despite foreign currency shortages.
Delta had a tough operating environment characterised by foreign currency shortages, but managed to post an increase in profit after tax to $88,5 million for its financial year ending March 31, 2018.
This was from $66,8 million earned in the comparable financial year ending March 31, 2017.
During the financial year ending March 31, 2018, Delta’s revenue surged 18% to $572,2 million from $482,9 million during same period ending March 31, 2017.
Delta managed to grow its assets during its past financial year to $837,4 million from $704 million recorded at the end of the comparable period ending March 31, 2017.
“Revenue growth of 18% resulted in earnings before interest and tax growing 28% above last year with a strong contribution from each beverage category,” said Delta chairman Canaan Dube in the statement accompanying the group’s results recently.
“Strong cash flow generation arose from improved working capital.
“Included in the net cash balance of $236 million are cumulative $59 million in unremitted dividends payable to foreign shareholders and $46 million in overdue foreign creditors.”