NAMIBIA – Namibia has commenced operations at the Katima Mulilo abattoir after the government injected N$14 million (US$845K) to renovate the facility.
According to reports by Namibian Times, the opening of the slaughterhouse will serve livestock farmers in the Zambezi region who had been operating without a stable market for year following the closure of Meatco.
“This is the first commercial slaughter, which is great news for farmers. During the past five years without a market the farmers endured financial difficulties as they could not maintain their livestock and livelihoods.”Percy Misika – Executive Director of Agriculture, Water and Land reforms
Meatco, a meat processing and marketing entity who was managing the government owned facility closed the doors of Katima Mulilo and Oshakati abattoirs in 2015 due to operational losses of almost N$43 million (US$2.59m) during the 2014/15 financial year.
The newly renovated slaughter house underwent a test run in July. It has the capacity to slaughter about 110 head of cattle per day and will create more employment opportunities for locals.
Percy Misika, executive director of agriculture, water and land reform said, “This is the first commercial slaughter, which is great news for farmers. During the past five years without a market the farmers endured financial difficulties as they could not maintain their livestock and livelihoods.”
Misika said the cattle population in the region has grown to roughly 180, 000 herds causing overgrazing, “The opening of the Katima Mulilo abattoir will decrease the number of cattle in the region as farmers now have a market.”
Robert Mapenzi, chairperson of the Zambezi Meat Corporation (Zamco) (Pty) Ltd, said the cattle being slaughtered are all from the Zambezi region and are owned by members of the corporation.
“As time passes, non-members of Zamco will also be granted the opportunity to sell their cattle. We have about 139 members at the moment,” he said.
According to the first quarter agricultural review of 2020 by the Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU), the amount of cattle and sheep marketed during the period reduced by 31.4% and 59.2% respectively.
The reduction is attributed to the fact that livestock producers are rebuilding herds following the marketing of a large amount of breeding stock during the prolonged drought season aimed to prevent major livestock and financial losses.
Data of the Meat Board of Namibia, indicate that the country exported 63, 417 live head of cattle in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the 48, 896 live head of cattle exported in the same period this year, registering a 22.9% decrease.
Export abattoirs slaughtered 9, 111 head of cattle a 56.6% decline from the 20, 991 head of cattle slaughtered in 2019 the same period.
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