Oliver Kazunga, Acting Business Editor

A LEADING bio-technology concern, Oil Castor has been gazzetted as a certifying agency for castor bean, a move expected to bring high quality seeds through universal standards to the production of the crop across Africa.

The firm, which supports rural farmers across Africa with engineered castor bean seed said the latest development augers well with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) whose operationalisation came into effect on the 1st of January to promote trade and economic integration on the continent.

According to a Government Gazette of December 25, 2020, Oil Castor has been proclaimed as a  certifying agency for castor bean in terms of the Seed Act (Chapter 19:13).

Oil Castor founder Mr Alvaro Arellano said:

“The latest development will bring consumer confidence to the farming project while also helping us bring standards across Africa.

“And with the free trade across Africa, it will help us bring a universal standard to farming castor beans.”

Presently, the bio-technology company is drafting a universal standard to farming castor beans and should be ready by month end.

Mr Arellano said his organisation by virtue of being a castor bean certifying agency, farmers are guaranteed of getting the highest quality seed of the crop.

“It will bring global buying confidence, for they  will be sure they are getting the highest quality castor bean and  oil. And Zimbabwe will be known for having a high standard castor bean.

“This will benefit the farmers, the market and hopefully its a spark that starts an organic revolution in Africa,” he said.

After supplying farmers with engineered castor bean seed, the firm buys back the crop which it uses to manufacture a wide range of cosmetic products such as oil and soap as well as motor oil or hydraulic oil, and bio-diesel.