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Zimbabwe clinches Hong Kong beef export deal

04 July 2007

ZIMBABWE - A state-owned meat processing company in Zimbabwe affirmed Tuesday it has shipped 6,500 tonnes of beef to Hong Kong after signing a beef export agreement with the rich Chinese province.

Cold Storage Company managing director, Ngoni Chigaramombe said beef orders running up to December had been secured from Hong Kong, but gave no figures.

The deal represents a major breakthrough for Zimbabwe, whose beef industry has been troubled since 2000 when the government controversially drove off white farmers from their farms to resettle landless peasants.

Beef production, which was dominated by white farmers, has gone down sharply, and the decline has been compounded by frequent outbreaks of cattle diseases.

Animal diseases, such as anthrax and foot-and-mouth, forced the European Union, Zimbabwe's main beef market, to ban meat imports from the southern African country.

But Chigaramombe said exports were being revived strongly, and that included renewal of regional markets such as DR Congo and Angola.

"We are doing more orders for Hong Kong while demand for our beef in the region is growing," he said.

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Source: Afrique en ligne


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