The Competition and Tariff Commission is inviting all interested stakehoders particulalrly those in the beef value chain to a validation workshop on the Study of the Zimbabwean Beef Sector. The study was done during the course of 2016. the workshop will be held at the Flamboyant Hotel in Masvingo on 7 September 2017
The objectives of the study were to:-
- Assess the behaviour of chain participants with regards to pricing obtaining at different centres and purchase systems as well as national cattle and beef prices comparisons;
- Analyse the institutional and regulatory environment within the sector and how it impacts the performance of the sector;
- Identify the main constraints preventing the development of the sector focusing amongst others; on policy and institutional setup, production systems and marketing; and
- Analyse the potential for abuse of market power in relation to the market structure in the beef sector.
Summary of Findings
- Cattle Production
- Farmers lacks animal husbandry and cattle marketing knowledges and do not treat cattle rearing as a business
- Farmers are dissipated and uncoordinated both in cattle production and marketing
- LPD under capacitated to perform its duties i.e. lack mobility, understaffed, lacks necessary equipment whereas Vet Services is better off. The two do not share resources including human at the detriment of farmers. Hence LPD officers not performing their duties in some cases.
- Too few bulls particularly in the communal areas resulting in low calving rate low offtake
- Mainly small indigenous breeds and rampant inbreeding i.e. Mashona and Nguni which are less productive in terms of beef.
- Minimum value addition to cattle i.e. pen fattening
- FMD outbreak mainly facilitated by farmers mixing cattle and game ranching without the necessary buffer zones
- Land tax should be proportionate to land use. i.e. cattle farmers uses vast amount of land relative to crop farmers hence the levy should take that into consideration. As well Dipping fees are considered too high
- Cattle populations indicated in the national statistics i.e. Crop and Livestock Assessment Report and the provincial statistics are different; A discrepancy which may hamper proper planning
- Cattle Marketing
- Cattle marketing is regional
- Cattle marketed through Private and RDC auctions and Private treaty (farmers take their cattle to the abattoir or Abattoirs take cattle from the farms.
- Cattle mainly sold through private treaty where in most instances farmers take their cattle to the abattoirs
- Cattle prices are mainly determined by the two biggest abattoirs in the country i.e. Koala in the Northern and eastern parts of the country while Grills commands the Southern and western parts of the country.
- RDC markets mainly active in Matebeland and some parts of Masvingo. Some RDCs abandoned them due to failure to attract many buyers or farmers shunning the auctions and or the auctions are de-campaigning by the private buyers.
- No proper live animal grading at the auctions
- RDC Levy alleged to be too high
- Buyers conniving to form rings at auctions both private and RDC
- Centralization of auction markets negatively affecting farmers in cases of FMD outbreaks (as farmers cannot return their cattle in cases of failure to sell due to price suppression)
- RDCs alleged not to plough back the revenue attained from cattle marketing
- Cattle Middleman not regulated
- Duplication of Abattoir registration fees by AMA and Vet Services
- EMA compliance fees are alleged to be punitive to formally registered abattoirs
- There are a lot of unofficial costs borne by the farmers during cattle marketing
- Beef Processing
- Grading system and dressing percentage are based on the EU market standards hence favors exotic breeds and discriminates the indigenous breeds
- Some abattoirs not manned by LPD graders and/or are employing their own graders which compromises the system
- Public Health inspectors under the Ministry of Health and Child Care and Vet Services are duplicating the same meat inspection job at the expense of the abattoirs which cost is ultimately borne by the farmers, however in some areas they complement each other
- Abattoirs take fifth quarter for free and argue that they inherited the practice from CSC which is not the case.
- Beef Distribution
- Beef distribution is nationwide. Almost 90% of the beef produced in the country is earmarked for the Harare market.
- Some abattoirs do not have Government graders and inspectors, thus their beef not roller marked hence the beef is not traceable
- Supermarkets margins on beef relatively high
- Beef industry heavily regulated
- Compliance costs are alleged to be too high
- RDC levies alleged to be too high
- Vet permit fee in conjunction with Deeping fees are a subject of concern.
- EMA, AMA fees
You are also kindly requested to submit in writing your presentations, before or on the date of the workshop, to be used by the Commission in coming up with the final study document