RWANDA – Rwanda is set to inaugurate a new slaughterhouse in the Nyagatare district, located in the Eastern Province in an aim to enhance the livestock sector and contribute to the national GDP.

The groundbreaking facility, with a cost nearing US$1 million (1.2 billion Rwandan francs), is set to revolutionize meat production by incorporating modern equipment and technology into the process.

The Nyagatare district, a pivotal region for cattle breeding, will witness a transformation in its meat processing capabilities with the completion of the state-of-the-art slaughterhouse.

Stephen Gasana, the mayor of the district, confirmed that the construction phase has concluded, and the project is progressing to the equipment installation stage.

Once operational, the facility is expected to process an impressive daily quota of around 250 cows and 400 goats.

“The cattle will be transported to the slaughterhouse by rail. Equipment will be used to prepare the cows, while the goats will be handled by humans,” he said.

Mr. Gasana elaborated on the logistics involved in the operation, detailing that cattle transportation to the slaughterhouse will be facilitated by rail.

While equipment will be utilized for preparing cows, the handling of goats will remain a manual process. This streamlined approach aligns with the intention to optimize meat production in the local market.

Livestock contributes approximately 4% to Rwanda’s GDP, and the new slaughterhouse is poised to further elevate the sector’s significance.

The investment aims to meet the rising demand for meat while adhering to modern standards of animal preparation and processing.

This initiative aligns with various concurrent projects supporting local breeders, including the construction of a livestock market in Katabagemu, costing approximately 60 million Rwandan francs (US$48,600).

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, meat production in Rwanda reached approximately 186,000 tonnes in the 2021/2022 period.

Notably, a study published in the Asian Journal of Animal Science highlighted a consistent annual increase of around 4% in per capita meat consumption over the past decade.

However, it also emphasized that despite this growth, consumption levels remain below WHO/FAO standards.

The study emphasized the need for improvements in the meat industry, focusing on challenges and opportunities.

Beef cattle producers, fatteners, and traders were identified as the main contributors to the value chain, with cattle being the primary source of meat.

The study underscored the potential benefits of enhancing cattle productivity, ensuring compliance with OIE quality standards, and developing a market-oriented cattle production system.

These measures not only promise to meet the growing demand for meat but also hold the potential to generate employment opportunities for the youth and the broader population.