By Yolanda Moyo
Bulawayo-based Boustead Beef Cold Storage Company has been reopened, in a development which marks an important milestone in the transformation of the agricultural sector since the launch of the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy by President Emerson Mnangagwa in 2020.
Before officially opening the processing plant, Vice President General (Rtd) Dr Constantino Chiwenga was taken through the processing plant where he acclimatized with the stages of processing beef.
In his address, Vice President Chiwenga noted that the re-opening of the plant marks a major transformation in the agriculture sector.
“This day marks an important milestone in the transformation of our agricultural sector which commenced with the launch of the Agriculture and Food systems Transformation Strategy by President E.D Mnangagwa. This plant is a key component in the beef production value chain. May I hasten to state that this event is a crucial indicator of the private sector’s resolve to stimulate growth of the livestock sub sector by providing a steady market for the slaughter stock of our livestock farmers,” he said.
He further implored the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to ensure the effective implementation of the livestock growth plan of 2021 to 2025.
“The livestock sub-sector is pivotal in the agricultural industry not only as a key income generating enterprise for livestock farmers, but also for a whole range of social-economy and cultural benefits which it provides. These benefits contribute to the achievement of National Development Strategy One. Specific outcomes derived from the livestock sub-sector include improved household and national food security and nutrition. The ultimate benefit is improved livelihoods for our people as we journey towards Vision 2030.”
Vice President Chiwenga reiterated government’s commitment to the re-opening of high value markets as it seeks to provide a competitive market for small holder livestock farmers who are at the mercy of middlemen.
He said, “The goal of government is to develop the livestock sub sector as a whole. Government is also committed to the opening of high value markets such as the Boustead beef-cold storage for cattle, goats and sheep. In this regard, it proves a competitive market for small holder livestock farmers who have suffered huge losses through middlemen and other unscrupulous players.”
Boustead Beef invested US$24 million for the resuscitation of the plant and intends to slaughter about 1 500 cattle a day at full operation capacity.
The revival of the livestock sector complements President Emerson Mnangagwa’s mantra that ‘Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo/Ilizwe Lakhiwa Ngabanikazi Balo’.