The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
MEAT processor, CSC Boustead Beef Zimbabwe is expecting to resume operations before the end of this month with final touches on the components of the state-of-the-art plant at an advanced stage.
The company’s engineer, Eng Munyaradzi Maiswa, expressed optimism during a tour of the plant by Sunday News Business saying final touches were at an advance stage and operations were expected to resume before the end of August.
“We are still on track to resume operations before the end of this month. We are now basically doing final touches and making sure that everything is in order as we look forward to start slaughtering soon,” he said.
He said they had touched on a number of sections of the plant and replaced parts that have been identified to be faulty. Final touches were also being done to areas such as the cold rooms, dressing floor, by-products, deboning room, engineroom and boiler room.
Boustead Beef (Pvt) Ltd, the United Kingdom investor, took over the Cold Storage Company in 2019 under a recapitalisation deal with Government and has committed to injecting a minimum of US$130 million. Its main mandate is to revive the strategic company’s operations across the country where refurbishing, recruiting and training forms part of the ongoing processes in preparation for resumption of operations.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka is on record saying the revival of the giant factory presents a credible off-taker where farmers can begin to realise better value for their effort.
The Minister said the CSC revival is expected to boost the goat breeding sector as farmers will be able to supply the meat processor with feedstock for local markets and exports, which will promote rural industrialisation.
The Government is already running a Goat Pass-On Scheme, which is expected to uplift rural communities across the country where three million households are expected to benefit from this year until 2025. The scheme would initially distribute 600 000 animals.
“Under the Presidential Rural Goat Pass-on Scheme, we envisage that this year we will give out the first 600 000 goats and by 2025 we hope to have five million or more goats and the market is already established. So, CSC Boustead resuscitation will mean we have a credible off-taker where farmers can begin to realise better value for their effort.”
Before its closure, CSC used to export beef, sheep and goat meat to several countries but stopped due to viability challenges. CSC used to play a leading role in the processing and marketing of Zimbabwe’s beef since its inception in 1937.