Mozambican company Agro-indústria e Comércio, Lda. (Agripec) plans to invest US$1.4 million in a project to breed crocodiles to use their skins, said the managing partner, Manuel Guimarães, quoted by news agency AIM.
The announced investment is intended to finance the construction of a slaughterhouse in Beira and a crocodile skin tanning unit, with individual tanks for crocodiles, a hatchery and fattening and growing tanks in Chemba, one of the districts in the province.
Guimarães said the company’s slaughterhouse in Beira will have a capacity to slaughter 200 animals per day, the meat of which will be consumed locally and the skins exported.
The Agripec managing partner said that crocodiles will be captured and eggs collected in Buzi district in order to increase the production capacity of the Chemba unit.
The company was officially authorized to extend its crocodile catching and egg collection operation along the major rivers in Sofala province, namely the Zambezi, Pungue and Buzi.
Currently, residents in the riverside areas of the Zambezi in Chemba, Caia and Marromeu are directly involved in the collection of eggs, which the company buys for 500 meticais (US$6.7) each.
Agripec, a company founded eight years ago, has already exported 20,000 juvenile crocodiles to Europe and Asia and annually exports 1,500 crocodile skins to countries like Italy, Portugal, South Korea, Japan and France.
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