By Yolanda Moyo
LIVESTOCK farmers have been urged to gear up for the reopening of Cold Storage Company in August this year, as the meat processing company will engage communal livestock farmers for supplies.
The re-opening of Cold Storage Company Boustead Beef is also expected to benefit communal livestock farmers as they will realise business from their livestock.
In an interview with ZBC News this Thursday after touring CSC in Bulawayo, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka expressed satisfaction with progress made towards the resumption of the country’s biggest meat processor.
“I am told that by August 31 we will be able to see the first carcasses going through. I am impressed with the resuscitation of the plant. With the resumption of operations drawing closer, communal farmers must gear up to deliver a steady supply of livestock to the factory. What we want to see is not just A1 and A2 farmers, but from the communal farmers as well. This is in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision of a prosperous upper middle-income society. So, the communal farmers must now begin to realise business out of their livestock. The business model that has been explained to me clearly caters for that community,” said Dr Masuka.
Representative of Boustead Beef, Mr Nick Havercroft said they are facing challenges in the delivery of spare parts and the company aims to bring back the meat processing company’s former glory.
“A batch of spares are struck between Shangai, Nairobi and Harare. As a company we will not only focus on export meat only, we are a local company and there is a demand for meat locally. The ultimate is to slaughter 1000 cattle a day, but as a start we are looking at 200 and we will partner communal farmers,” said Mr Havercroft.
The Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Raj Modi highlighted that the revival of CSC will boost the leather sector.
“The reopening of CSC is an advantage to the leather sector as they will be readily available skin of good quality. Revitalising the leather sector is one of the COMESA flagship projects,” he said.
Boustead Beef took over the defunct Cold Storage Company in 2019 under a recapitalisation deal with government and has committed to injecting a minimum of US$130 million.