Sharp said the company’s United States operation, Lone Star Alligator Farms in Texas, currently has 22 830 alligators on the ground and about 16 182 of these is expected to be harvested between July and December.
He also told shareholders that an EU audit of export approved crocodile facilities occurred this week with Padenga being one of only two abattoirs that holds this status.
Demand for crocodiles meat in Europe remains steady and prices have firmed over last year.
However, Sharp said there is no current interest from the Asian market for crocodile meat, compelling the company to increase local sales.
“We will maintain sales promotions of low value cuts into the local market to preserve our market share as an alternative to sales into Asia,” Sharp said.
Currently, the company has 46 235 B15 and 51 460 B16 crocodiles on the ground in Zimbabwe and this is in line with its objective of maintaining annual production at the same volumes in 2018.
Sharp said capital expenditure in 2017 will focus on additional infrastructure that will improve skin quality, increase growth rates and improve production efficiencies.
“To this end, new 80 pens are under construction. Also at the beginning of the year a solar power plant was commissioned at UME that is providing the bulk of the farms energy needs during daylight hours,” Sharp added.
Top shareholders of Padenga include ZMD Investments (Pvt) Ltd, HM Barbour (Pvt) Ltd and Stanbic nominees with 20 percent, 19.5 percent and 12.13 percent respectively. – The Source