By Tendai Mugabe
South African giant Chicken Bird Holdings (CBH), the owners of fast-food Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise in the country, have committed to invest US$150 million in Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector. This will create 1 500 direct jobs and contribute towards the country’s food security.
The investment speaks to President Mnangagwa’s mantra that “Zimbabwe is open for business” and his vision of transforming the economy into an upper middle income status by 2030. Government is now working with CBH to secure three farms where the investment will be implemented.
CBH is not new to Zimbabwe as the it is already operating the KFC franchise in the country and has operations in seven other African countries.
The company’s chief executive Mr Marthinus Stander yesterday met President Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare to outline how they intended to operationalise the US$150 million kitty.
In a letter that he submitted to President Mnangagwa, Mr Marthinus said: “CBH wishes to invest $150 million (USD) in Zimbabwe. This spend will be in agriculture, in the poultry sector. Over a four-year period, we will build a 50 000 broilers per week abattoir, a 500 000 day-old chicks per week hatchery, 30 breeding houses plus 80 broiler houses (of which 48 houses will be contracted out to farmers in the district) and two feed mills. The growing of maize and soya beans will also form part of the contract grower scheme.
“The direct employment would be 1 500 people. CBH is keen and serious to help Zimbabwe become self-sufficient in all aspects of poultry as well as in the development of export markets.”
When fully operational, the country stands to export poultry products and will be guaranteed of sustainable farming.
Speaking to journalists after meeting President Mnangagwa, Mr Marthinus said his company is ready to implement the investment deal once the land has been identified. “We are to implement poultry operations in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The value of investment over three to five years is US$150 million. We want to launch our operations as quickly as possible subject finding the right land.”
CBH is an active member of the South African Poultry Association and the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association and adheres to these bodies codes of conduct in terms of quality, animal welfare and environmental awareness.