Zimbabwe Govt Approves Plans to Revive Cold Storage Company

Cold Storage Company

Government has approved plans to revive the Cold Storage Company, a move that will open new beef export markets for the country and create employment, a Cabinet minister has said.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said this last Friday during the National Young Farmers Awards presentation ceremony in Harare.

He said the development would create potential lucrative markets for new farmers.

“We are working tirelessly to revamp the CSC, efforts are currently underway and all is now set for commencement of operations on a larger scale,” said Dr Made.

“We have found willing investors to bail out CSC, negotiations with them to operationalise all defunct CSC depots in the country are complete and this is set to create markets for our upcoming farmers who are into beef production.

“The revamping of the CSC will contribute to the national agriculture activity growth.”

Dr Made said Zimbabwe needed to have the CSC fully operational as it was a catalyst in the livestock sector, which is part of the national food security.

CSC presently has only one functional branch in Bulawayo, which is operating below capacity.

It used to play a leading role in the processing and marketing of Zimbabwe’s beef since inception in 1937, with its major depots in Bulawayo and Masvingo.

The company fell on hard times from 2000 owing to a myriad of challenges, among them, inadequate working capital, cattle diseases, decline in the commercial herd, huge foreign debt, high staff turnover and an old transport fleet.

Some of the problems arose because of sanctions that were imposed on the country by Western countries.

In 2001, CSC suffered another major setback when the European Union suspended beef exports from Zimbabwe following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

CSC used to have an annual quota of beef exports to the EU of 9 100 tonnes and the company last exported beef in 2007.

The beef exports used to earn Zimbabwe at least $45 million per year.

CSC is now operating at seven percent capacity utilisation and has a skeletal workforce of about 500 workers compared to 1 500 in 1999.

By Columbus Mabika

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Source: The Herald

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