ZIMBABWE – CFI Holdings, a leading agricultural-based company in Zimbabwe, foresees higher performance growth this year following the country’s positive agriculture season after a depressed financial quarter that ended in December 2022.
Listed by the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), CFI holdings operations include Victoria Foods, Farm and City, Glenara Estates, Langford Estates Suncrest, Agrifoods, and Crest Poultry.
In a statement, Panganayi Hare, the company secretary said that despite the challenging operating environment, the group was projecting that aggregate demand would be high following the anticipated agricultural season
The optimism, therefore, follows the government’s commitment to boost the agricultural sector in the 2023 National budget.
In the budget, the government highlighted that the agriculture industry was set to grow by a staggering 4 percent in 2023 amid ramped-up support for farmers on the backdrop of good rains in the summer cropping season.
According to CFI, agriculture performance boosts consumer spending on basic foodstuffs, farming inputs, and farming equipment hence the group schemes on exploiting any opportunities that contribute to the overall business performance.
CFI invested $548.19 million (US$1.515M) up from $540.6 million (US$1.494M) in 2021 to cover IT infrastructure for various Farm and City centers to increase business space and bring convenience to customers.
However, the company laments that the December quarter showed sales volumes contracting by 19.8% compared to the previous year despite Victoria Foods, its subsidiary, having stable wheat supplies.
Still, fertilizer sales were constrained by the commodity’s significant real price increases following the war in Ukraine, which disrupted global supply chains.
The company also witnessed the Glenara potato harvest decrease by 5 percent as planting was constrained by seed supply shortages.
However, the company is hopeful following the increased area planted under commercial maize and soya bean by 11 percent and 19 percent respectively compared to the prior year.
Hare said the increase in the planted area should assist in underpinning raw material supplies to Victoria Foods and Agrifoods
For the financial year that ended September 2022, CFI holdings reported a revenue jump of 39.4% owing to an impressive performance from its subsidiary Victoria Foods, the trajectory that was attributed to the availability of raw materials.
With the anticipated agricultural production, marketing season has been riddled with challenges of side-marketing that involves middlemen following payment delays by the Government and the private sector.
To cushion the coming season, Mr. Paul Zakariya, Zimbabwe Farmers Union Secretary General have pleaded with stakeholders in the agriculture sector to mobilize adequate funds for the purpose to ensure they pay farmers expeditiously.