Govt mulls CSC revival

BULAWAYO - The revival of the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) remains a major solution to the complete recovery of Zimbabwe’s beef industry, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation deputy minister Paddy Zhanda has said.

He made the remark in response to questions by delegates during yesterday’s Food Agriculture Organisation (Fao) livestock production conference in Bulawayo who wanted to know the benefits of re-opening the CSC.

“The revival of CSC is a mammoth task and any suggestions on how best we can move forward will be greatly appreciated,” Zhanda said.

“We cannot write off CSC because it acts as a catalyst in the scheme of things as far as marketing the country’s beef industry is concerned. It is a national asset and key to our beef industry.”

The CSC has become a pale shadow of its past when it used to play a leading role in the processing and marketing of the country’s beef.

The viability of the parastatal took a severe beating when the European Union suspended beef imports from the country in 2001 following a foot and mouth disease outbreak. At its peak, the company had an annual  export quota of 9 100 tonnes of beef to  the European Union and a $15 million revolving payment facility with the trading block under which it was paid in advance.

Experts say despite the suspension of the beef exports, corruption and mismanagement accelerated the CSC’s collapse.

Zhanda said the CSC’s collapse can also be blamed on a move by the government to allow private abattoir players into the industry, saying the company failed to survive the competition.

“We made a mistake at the beginning by allowing private players to build their own abattoirs instead of saying farmers should only utilise CSC abattoirs.

“We should instead have incorporated the private players into the CSC scheme of things than to allow them to compete against the parastatal,” Zhanda said.

The company that used to earn the country at least $45 million annually fluffed a 2011 deal with the Botswana government aimed at resuscitating its operations.

The CSC failed to remit funds realised from cattle sells under the agreement, resulting in the deal collapsing.

Comments (2)

Our government is a real NATO (No Action Talk Only). Nothing will come out of this, the next time we will hear about CSC is when some funny government official will be officiating at some equally funny function.

Nesongano - 19 March 2014

why would you want to give a non perfroming parastatal like CSC monopoly for beef processing? You want to get us another GMB? We are tired of zanu control in everything. Live it and let it be. CSC must face competition. They buckled under competition form focused private abattoirs. We dont need their inefficiencies in the economy. They must be privatised and earn their market through effective and efficient commercial participation, not some govt protection. Moda kuba vana Paddy Zhanda.

Tongogara - 20 March 2014

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