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Zimbabwe: 15t of Beef Hong Kong-Bound

23 March 2007

ZIMBABWE - THE Cold Storage Company expects to export the first consignment of about 15 tonnes of beef to Hong Kong before the end of the month as it seeks to consolidate the Far Eastern market.

In an interview last week, CSC chief executive officer Mr Ngoni Chinogaramombe said the packaging and loading of the meat into containers had been completed at the Chinhoyi CSC export processing plant while the shipping logistics were at an advanced stage.

"We have moved with exceptional speed to process the meat for the market in Hong Kong, which will mark our first consignment to that country," said Mr Chinogaramombe.

"The consignment is expected to be shipped out before the end of the month as all logistics are being put in place."

The development follows the resumption of beef processing for the export market at the Chinhoyi branch which had been facing viability problems owing to an acute shortage of slaughter stock for both the domestic and export markets.

Zimbabwe's national herd has been significantly reduced by a combination of factors including stock theft, diseases and intermittent droughts in recent years.

Mr Chinogaramombe was upbeat about the Far East market, saying it held vast potential for meat exports, emphasising however that more needed to be done to rejuvenate the CSC's capacity to meet demand.

"The Hong Kong market alone is so big that we only have to step up our cattle breeding process to ensure quality meat and in sufficient quantities to meet demand," he said.

He said operations at the Chinhoyi branch were encouraging as it had managed to process five times more than it did last year -- a clear sign that it was on the rebound.

He said the company wanted to supply 5 000 tonnes to Hong Kong and expand as more farmers start selling their cattle to them for slaughter.

The CSC, which has about seven cattle rearing farms across the country, plans to start beef exports to Malaysia by the end of the year, Mr Chinogaramombe said.

Proceeds from the export market, he said, would cushion the company against the adverse economic environment through generation of foreign currency to procure expensive vaccines and other inputs.

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Source: allAfrica.com


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