Wednesday 24 August 2022


THE Cold Storage Commission (CSC) is working towards exporting beef and is in negotiations with European Union, Asian and African markets to bolster the country’s foreign currency earnings. Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga reopened CSC in Bulawayo last Thursday and made a commitment that the awoken giant will never collapse again.

CSC is run in joint venture between Government and Boustead Beef (Pvt) Ltd in 2019 under the Rehabilitate, Operate and Transfer (ROT) Agreement. So far, Boustead Beef has employed 169 people inclusive of management and employees and has invested US$24 million towards rehabilitation of CSC.

The rehabilitation will increase the daily slaughter of cattle from 60 to 2  000 per day while works are in progress to repair the Bulawayo Canning Plant. Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government’s target is to see CSC rekindling its past glory as a foreign currency earner for the country while increasing its herd.

“Infrastructure at three ranches has been rehabilitated and modernised. The CSC board is now in place, and is seized with the accelerated rehabilitation of assets and mapping of a business strategy for the organisation. CSC has initiated a livestock feedlot operation and a micro-finance facility of US$36 million, which at full capacity can finance up to 120 000 head,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“CSC is also negotiating export contracts for beef products to the United Kingdom, various European Union member States, Malta, and Middle Eastern, Asian and African markets. Samson Brands has also been incorporated to market the CSC products on the local market.”

On another investment issue, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet has partnered a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company Skypower Global (CAYMAN) to set up a 500 megawatts solar energy plant.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the 500MW will be built in phases.

“The nation is being informed that in support of the initiative to promote investments, Government seeks to conclude a framework with Skypower Global (CAYMAN) of the United Arab Emirates for the construction of solar-based power generation plants of up to 500 megawatts capacity, in a phased approach,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said Cabinet outlined the framework agreement which will pave the way for engagement between Skypower Global and Zesa Holdings in order for the two entities to negotiate a power purchase agreement among other related issues.

“Cabinet advises that alternative sources of energy, including and in this instance, solar power, will complement the existing hydro and thermal power production systems, thereby increasing access to electricity in Zimbabwe and enabling growth of the economy,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the initiative comes against the backdrop of increased co-operation between Zimbabwe and the UAE which were strengthened by the Dubai Expo 2020 Engagement.

Meanwhile, she said Cabinet adopted a strategy to feed at least 3,8 million communities in rural areas who are projected to be food insecure following poor rains in the past cropping season.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the Cabinet’s decision is informed by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) for Rural Livelihood Assessment Results (2022) indicated that approximately 38 percent of the country’s rural population consisting of 3,8 million people will be food insecure over the peak hunger period, that is, January to March 2023.

“Cabinet wishes to assure the nation that all the 3,8 million people projected to be food insecure will be targeted as beneficiaries. Government will distribute food to all the needy households in provinces. The World Food Programme (WFP) and other development partners are expected to channel their food assistance through Government structures, as per practice,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said the country has 490 000 metric tonnes of grain in the Strategic Grain Reserve.

“Thus, the 120 000 metric tonnes required to support the needy households will be sufficiently covered. The targeting of beneficiaries and distribution of grain will be undertaken through District Drought Relief Committees,” she said. Chronicle



Post a Comment