Crocodile skin producer, Padenga Holdings Limited’s harvest year to date has amounted to 7 493 skins as the firm remains upbeat of meeting its targeted volumes and quality for the export market. The group targets 46 000 skins for this current financial year with an average belly width of 34, 6 centimetres.
Last year in the crocodile operations, 46 035 animals were culled which was in line with budget but represented a decrease of four percent compared to prior year.
Harvesting commenced in March for the Zimbabwean operations.
Briefing shareholders and analysts this week Padenga chief executive officer Gary Sharp said the warmer temperatures that have prevailed of late are ideal for improving water quality and therefore good for their crop.
Sharp said the quality of the current crop and those already harvested showed the company was in line to meet its target volumes as well as export quality.
“The thrust this year is to continue to harvest more of the younger stock to reduce our production cycle,” he said.
The firm has managed to achieve average grade consistent with its targets.
At the beginning of the year, Padenga had 2 725 skins in stock which were graded and exported.
In the United States of America (USA) operations, where harvesting commenced in February this year, a total 5 738 alligators of watch-band sizes were harvested as of 14 May 2018. At least 22 600 animals are yet to be harvested between May and December.
Sharp added 3 330 animals would be carried forward into 2019 to be harvested as medium sized skins with average size of 29 centimetres.
An additional 15 000 alligators will be purchased this year for harvesting next year.