Meatco Chief Executive Officer, Mwilima Mushokobanji said the Rundu abattoir is 90 per cent complete and ready to open in two months.
He said the meat processing company is currently test slaughtering before the abattoir officially opens in two months.
Mushokobanji said this during a consultative meeting Meatco held Thursday with the leadership of the two Kavango regions and with farmers to hear their expectations of the soon to open abattoir.
The abattoir was supposed to be fully completed by January 2017 after the ground-breaking was done in 2014 but financial constraints and postponements delayed the process.
The abattoir is currently test-slaughtering 60 cattle per week, but it has the capacity to slaughter up to 100 cattle per day.
The CEO said Meatco continues to acquire lucrative African and international markets to benefit producers in the northern communal areas (NCAs).
“We need to make sure that we get this angle right in terms of the sustainability of operating abattoirs in the NCAs, so as Meatco, where we have put more emphasis is on market development because this is where in the past we did not get it right. So as I am talking to you now, I am glad that we are exporting to Ghana and Angola. We are at an advanced stage in terms of finalising our penetration of the Middle East market, which has higher volumes and is more competitive,” he said.
He said ultimately, for a farmer, what is important is to make sure that Meatco maximise better retention for the farmer because the source of sustainability for an abattoir is to make sure that farmers are in business.
He called for the implementation of the government’s ‘Buy Local’ strategy to compel companies winning supply tenders to source meat from farmers in the NCAs.
Kavango East Regional Council chairperson Damian Maghambayi said he is happy that the long-awaited reopening of the abattoir could bring business and job opportunities for residents.
“What we are saying also is that the technical arrangements that are still pending, we do not want a delay until December again, and we are giving the ministry (of agriculture) at least until the end of April to finalise this because the actual practicality part has started now,” he stated.
Chairperson of the Kavango West Regional Council, Joseph Sikongo, also shared the same sentiments, calling on farmers to optimally utilise the facility.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency