Meatco takes over revamped Rundu Abattoir

August 31, 2023

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) has opened the once dormant Rundu abattoir, which will now be under the management of the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco).

The abattoir was upgraded at a cost of N$40 million following a number of years of being closed.

"The facility has a slaughter capacity of between 80 to 120 cattle per day and in addition, the abattoir is also geared to slaughter small stock. At this capacity, this facility provides a market for livestock produces not only in this region but also from neighbouring regions. The benefits would therefore also accrue to farmers from Kavango West and Ohangwena," MAWLR Minister Calle Schlettwein said.

The infrastructure development also includes abattoirs at Katima Mulilo with a slaughter capacity of up to 110 cattle per day, Oshakati abattoir (with a slaughter capacity of up to 220 cattle per day), Outapi and Eenhana (each with a slaughter capacity of 25 cattle per day); and a meat-processing facility at Ongwediva. 

"Although the Oshakati and Outapi abattoirs are currently closed, efforts are underway to reopen these abattoirs. Plans are also at an advanced stage to upgrade the Opuwo slaughter house to a B Class abattoir. These facilities are either operated by or will be operated by Meatco and private-sector operators,” Schlettwein said.

He said it was not easy to complete the Rundu abattoir upgrade, as the Ministry had to battle with the Covid-19 crisis and its lockdown regulations and disruptions of tourism and other economic activities.

"Thereafter, we had to upgrade in total the effluent system so that the end result would be a modern slaughter house which fulfills all standards of an export abattoir," he added.

Another challenge the Minister highlighted was fending against a serious Read Locust outbreak, which threatened food security in the regions, further exacerbated by the Foot-and-Mouth Disease in 2021 – forcing another set of lockdown measures upon the livestock sector. 

"With this piece of infrastructure now being available, we have taken one major step contributing to our goal of food security and self-sufficiency while at the same time we can improve the livelihoods of farmers and their workers," stated Schlettwein.

He signified the importance of the Beef Value Chain Development for the Northern Communal Area (NCA) programme, supplementing the Growth at Home Strategy.

"These strategies involve the upgrading and construction of abattoirs and meat processing facilities in the NCA. It gives meaning to the slogan ‘from the field to the fork’, a process by which we produce animals, convert them to commodities like food, fibre or fodder for other animals, as market these commodities domestically, and where surpluses do exist, export them."

"This beef value chain must produce high value food and fibre (leather) so that these commodities are compatible in their best paying markets, whether domestically or elsewhere. Only then will it make farming profitable and worthwhile, create decent employment with decent remuneration, induce growth in the local, regional and national economy," he reiterated. 

Procurement of trucks through the Livestock Support Programme is being facilitated in an effort to transport livestock to the marketing facilities, with delivery set for October, Schlettwein revealed.

"It is vital to emphasise the importance of linking the abattoir to upstream value chain activities including water infrastructure, green schemes, feedlots, auctions, vaccinations, quarantine camps, road infrastructure and logistic support as well as downstream economic activities for meat processing and marketing. As such, marketing of NCA meat products should be enhanced through Commodity-Based Trade Protocol (CBTP) value addition and product identification," he said.



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Last modified on Friday, 01 September 2023 10:27

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