How To Start A Sunflower Farming Business  And The Comprehensive Business Plan

How To Start A Sunflower Farming Business And The Comprehensive Business Plan

In Zimbabwe, sunflower farming is gaining popularity among farmers investing in early-yielding and drought-resistant crops. Sunflower production feeds into Zimbabwe`s oil production and the respective industry processes 15 000 tonnes of oil seeds annually. The oil produced from sunflower seeds is of equal quality to olive oil and is well-suited for table use.

Sunflower farming benefits from the far-reaching uses of both the plant and the actual seeds. Sunflower seeds have several other uses in stock feed manufacturing as well as in confectionery production. Farmers plant sunflower as a soil nutrient-correcting plant because of its ability to remove excess potassium from the soil.   The production of sunflower seeds is relatively labour intensive as is the case with every farming business. In this article, we share some factors which you can incorporate into your sunflower farming business and possibly improve your production processes. You can also get a comprehensive sunflower farming business plan [PDF, Word & Excel] for just US$10 payable via Ecocash. Call/WhatsApp: +263782 594 434. WhatsApp Link:

The government of Zimbabwe has been vocal about the need to have more communal farmers growing sunflowers for processing. This is part of efforts to cut down on oil imports which consume up to US$200 million annually. The acute oil deficit currently experienced in Zimbabwe is remedied by importing roughly 55,000 tonnes of sunflower oil from neighbouring South Africa.

Sunflower is a drought-resistant crop which can be adopted to improve and diversify farm product output from sizeable portions of land. It is therefore important for one to take note of the essentials needed for successful sunflower production. A farmer has to ascertain the total number of hectares he/she intends to put under sunflower production. Sunflower also plays well in crop rotation as it helps in preserving soil health. A farmer should also ascertain the period for planting the crop and the subsequent resources needed for its successful cultivation. This requires a sound understanding of the various factors of sunflower farming which should be used to plan properly for the business. Always plan first before you begin investing in your land.

Sunflower Farming Input Requirements

Sunflower farming is a simple but labour-intensive venture which requires due diligence in preparing for its growing stages. The most critical input in this farming business is the sunflower seed. Choose the best performing, high-yielding and early maturing hybrid seed varieties. You also want to have an idea of the average oil content of the harvested seed from the variety you intend to plant. If targeting the oil manufacturing industry, they require seeds with high oil content. It is always wise to pick a variety that has the qualities that meet your market expectations.

Sunflower crop requires adequate fertiliser application for optimum performance. The crop demonstrates a remarkable ability to utilise soil nutrients and this has been ascribed to its finely branched and extensive root structure. However, a proper fertilisation program is always informed by prior soil analysis. Farmers should always take their soil for testing first before deciding on which fertilisers to add to the crop and the respective quantities.

You will also need other farming inputs such as pesticides and herbicides which should be applied to protect the crop from pests and disease infestations. The efficient control of sunflower pests and diseases has a positive material impact on the farming business as it improves overall yields. It eliminates competition for nutrients between the sunflower crop and weeds while limiting the chances of pest infestation.

Raising The Required Capital

Depending on your farm size, you will need some capital to kick-start your sunflower farming business. Some farmers started with a bank loan while others try and find potential investors among family and friends. Some have made use of personal savings to start small and with careful financial management their farming businesses have boomed. In any case, you will need a business plan to assist you in carefully planning how you will raise capital for the farming business. The business plan will assist you in knowing all the necessary costs involved in setting up the business.


Sunflower has adaptive qualities making it well-suited for planting in a wide variety of soil types. However, the crop performs remarkably well on sandy loam soils with a clay content ranging between 15%-50%. You should ensure that you plant the crop in areas where water logging is at the best minimum. The crop is also sensitive to aluminium toxicity and should never be planted on soils with a pH level lower than 4.6. Farmers are also encouraged to check for nematodes in the soil as these pose a great danger to the sunflower plant. Among many other things, your choice of land will have a material impact in terms of the overall crop performance and yields. To ascertain the quality of your land, take it for soil sampling before you start cultivating.

Labour And Equipment

Depending on the size of your farm, it may be workable that you hire labour and heavy machinery. You will need labour for planting, applying fertilisers and herbicides, ploughing as well as harvesting and packaging the sunflower seeds. Heavy machinery like tractors and cultivators may be hired as opposed to purchasing them. Manual labour will be employed based on need although you might need to also have farm supervisors, farm managers and an accounting team. These will oversee the full development of your sunflower farming into a viable agribusiness venture.

Sunflower Oil Seed Market

The oil processing industry drives demand for sunflower production in Zimbabwe. Annually, the country requires close to 150 million litres of cooking oil the industry requires an annual estimated 70,000 tonnes of oil seed supply. The highest production recorded in Zimbabwe’s sunflower production thus far has been 60,000 tonnes of oil seeds. On the other hand, a single oil processor requires an average of 15,000 tonnes of sunflower seeds. In the wake of poor production, processors are increasingly resorting to Soybeans and cotton seeds for oil production. However, the oil from these seeds is of poor quality. You can carefully structure your sunflower production business targeting any local seed processors and strive to meet their demand. In your business plan, therefore, you ought to have a proper market penetration strategy which will assist you in driving sales.

The Sunflower Farming Business Plan

Our sunflower business plan is tailor-made for individuals seeking detailed and most recent information about sunflower farming in Zimbabwe. You can purchase the sunflower farming business plan for just US$10 payable via Ecocash. You can either get it as a pre-written document or request for a customised version of the business plan at an extra charge. The customised business plan requires that you furnish us with your specific details and area of interest. Our sunflower business plan is bankable and contains information on how to successfully manage your production cycles, and prepare for future possible risks associated with the business.

With our business plan, you will ultimately find it easy to plan and budget for your sunflower farming business. It will help you better navigate the sunflower value chain so you may be able to strategically position your farming business for improved profitability. As the old saying goes, failing to plan equates to planning to fail. With our sunflower production business plan, you will be fully informed of what is needed to successfully operate a sunflower agribusiness.

The Business Plan Contents

Our business plan contains the following subsections as listed below and more:

  • Operational Requirements
  • Planning For Sustainable Farming
  • Target Market Analysis
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Advertising & Promotion Plans
  • Competition Analysis
  • SWOT analysis
  • PSTEL Analysis
  • Risk Analysis
  • Financial Statements

Purchasing The Sunflower Farming Business Plan

You can get a soft copy package of the maize farming business plan for just US$10 payable via Ecocash. The hard copy package is available on request for just US$15. The business plan package contains 5 files listed below:

1. Sunflower Farming Business Plan Comprehensive Version – PDF

2. Sunflower Farming Business Plan Comprehensive Version – WORD

3. Sunflower Farming Business Plan Short Bank/Grant Application Version – WORD

4. Sunflower Farming Business Plan Financial Statements – EXCEL

5. A ZIMRA Registration Guide – PDF

You will receive the business plan package via email and/or WhatsApp. To make the purchase, contact us first via Call/WhatsApp: +263782 594 434. WhatsApp Link: [Mobile users Only]

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Visit Business Planning Zimbabwe, B2C Coworking Space, Batanai Gardens, Cnr Jason Moyo Ave and First Street, Harare.

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