Padenga operates three farms situated on the shores of Lake Kariba in the north-west of Zimbabwe. Since 2000, the shareholders have re-invested significant capital into the Farms resulting in all having a suite of assets and infrastructure that are world-class.
Padenga continually embraces the use of technology in furthering its operations and refining its management systems and these continue to give the Company a competitive edge.
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Padenga is supplying the demand for quality crocodile skins by top fashion houses worldwide and doing this responsibly and sustainably.
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Kariba has a huge natural resource of water and sunshine, and offers opportunities to collect crocodile eggs from their natural habitat.
WHY SKIN TRACEABILITY?
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Padenga fully adheres to the provisions of the CITES Convention aimed at eliminating illegal trade in crocodilian skins . The farms also make use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) microchips to ensure individual skins are traceable from point of hatch to market
Our Farm Operations
The three farms are almost identical in terms of size, structure, stock numbers, staffing levels and management systems and this allows for strong competitiveness between the units, and also strong opportunities for direct comparison in relation to operational and financial performance. The three farms function as standalone cost/profit centres but utilize certain common core services such as the abattoir, shared technical services and access to a strong professional research and development team staffed primarily by Veterinarians. The Farms employ a high degree of technology with data capture directly into penside computers and processed by a full time team of data analysts who generate status reports to management. A comprehensive quality management system is adhered to across the operations. Standard operating procedures (SOP’s) govern all routine operational activities and any deviations to those are identified and formally reported resulting in either disciplinary action where negligence was evident, or refinement of the SOP where genuine shortcomings have been identified. In this manner, both staff accountability and continuous operational improvement are obtained.
Kariba Crocodile Farm (KCF) was established in 1965, and is the oldest crocodile farm in Zimbabwe. It serves as Padenga’s mother farm, housing the Technical Department as well as Padenga’s abattoir. The farm is situated on land leased from the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWLMA). A considerable amount of physical restructuring was done at KCF to replace the early crocodile pens which were unsuitable for commercial production. Very little of the original pen infrastructure remains other than a small section of breeder pens. The new pen structures at KCF allow for the production of around 15,300 skins per annum. KCF employs approximately 150 employees with around 50% of those in a permanent capacity. A portion of the critical services staff live on the farm whilst the majority occupy off farm housing in the nearby Kariba townships. A staff bus delivers employees to work daily.
Nyanyana Crocodile Farm (NCF) is situated contiguous to KCF, and therefore is also on land leased from PWLMA. This farm, constructed over a seven-year period beginning in 2005, reflects the pinnacle of Padenga’s knowledge in the construction of a dedicated crocodile farm. Four electronically controlled incubators situated on NCF handle all wild and domestic eggs collected annually and perform this critical function on behalf of the other farms. In providing this service, NCF conforms to the ranching model embraced by CITES whereby the sustainable harvesting of wild eggs plays an important role in the conservation of the Nile crocodile. NCF, together with KCF, has dedicated custom built hatchling facilities that accommodate all the hatchlings produced for a maximum of nine months before they are moved to grower pens. The hatchling facilities employ sophisticated computer driven control systems by which heated water is used to automatically maintain the temperature in the hatchling pens at 32oC to promote maximum growth. NCF employs approximately the same number of employees as at KCF and also has the capacity to deliver up to 15,300 skins on an annual basis. NCF accommodates a 1,2MW grid-tied solar plant which is scheduled for expansion over the next decade until the northern farms (KCF and NCF) are fully operating on renewable energy.
Ume Crocodile Farm (UCF) is located on the Ume River mouth, 65km south-east of the northern farms. UCF is the second oldest of the farms having been established in 1973. UCF is located on land leased from the Nyaminyami Rural District Council. The farm is not on the national grid and produces its own power through a combination of a 252kW solar plant to sustain daytime operations and diesel generators to provide power at night. All inputs used at this Farm are transferred by ferry across the Lake from the northern farms as the remoteness of the operation does not make road service a realistic option. UCF accommodates the majority of the Group’s breeder stock and has no hatchling facilities, receiving its growers at around seven months old from the northern farms. Around 220 permanent staff live full time on the farm with their families and consequently the farm staff village accommodates around 1,000 people at any point in time. There are associated support services such as a clinic and school because of the necessity to provide for employee needs. Although remote in location, UCF is a full duplicate of the northern farms in terms of pen infrastructure and support services and follows the same formal operational and management systems. Consequently, it too has the capacity to deliver 15,300 skins per annum. The rural communities within which UCF is situated are some of the most impoverished communities in the country and as a result, UCF has a progressive CSRP programme to promote self-reliance and skills development within the youth.