CFI Holdings has commissioned some environmentally-controlled broiler houses at its Glenara Estates, which will see its breeding capacity increasing by 35%.
Through its division - Crest Poultry Group - the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed conglomerate invested $2.6 mill. into the project from loans it got from the PTA Bank, the Government's Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund and Afreximbank.
CFI can now breed about 620000 broilers at any given time from about 460000 birds the company was keeping before installation of these new facilities. The birds are slaughtered after six weeks.
The old housing facilities are open-sided. Studies have shown that mortality rates in conventional houses were higher than those in controlled houses. On average, mortality rates in open-sided housing average between eight and 10% against between 2 - 3% in computerised environmentally-controlled housing.
At the new breeding capacity levels, the company is now in a better position to stand competition from imports, particularly from Brazil.
CFI consultant Mr Don McDevitt said the group intended to build more houses at an estimated cost of US$5 mill. He added that plans were also in place to build an abattoir at the estates to achieve an integrated poultry facility. PTA Bank portfolio management officer Mr Thomas Ratemo said the regional bank was prepared to bankroll the company's future expansion projects.
CFI is involved in poultry, milling of stockfeeds, maize and flour, manufacture and distribution of agri-chemicals, farming and retail. Early this year, the company embarked on a massive expansion programme to improve capacity and efficiency.
The expansion programme consisted of the installation of computerised environmentally-controlled houses and the refurbishment of Victoria Foods. About $1,6 mill. was spent on Victoria Foods, chief executive Mr Steve Kuipa said.
The company got lines of credit of about $3,8 mill. to fund expansion projects.
Source: CFI Holdings