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« on: January 30 2012 »

NewsDay / Business

by Mernat Mafirakurewa | 2011-01-27 15:55:00

The influx of cheaper kapenta from Mozambique is threatening the existence of the fishing industry in Kariba, it has been learnt.

On average dried local kapenta costs $4,50 per kilogramme compared to $3,50 from outside the country.

Norman Masau, the manager at Zambezi Protein, told NewsDay that there was need for the government to formulate a policy to protect the local fishing industry.

“The whole community of Kariba relies on fishing and tourism,” Masau said.

“If these companies were to fold it will result in massive job losses.”

Masau attributed the cheaper prices of imported kapenta to lower production costs compared to Zimbabwe.

“We cannot compete in terms of pricing. There is a need for some policy intervention from government in order to keep us afloat,” said Masau.

He said there was also need to ensure that there were no supply disruptions of fuel as it was an integral part of business.

As a result of the diesel shortage experienced since December, Zambezi Protein had to scale down its operations.

The company when operating at full capacity uses nine boats per night, but has in recent weeks been using only two due to diesel shortage.

“We cannot afford to have fuel shortages as this will simply cripple our industry,” Masau said.

“Diesel is one of our major inputs which we cannot do without.”

He said finding a market for the products was now difficult as it was flooded with too many foreign players.

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation,fish demand exceeds supply in the country as a result of increased costs of other protein sources in urban and rural areas.
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