New slaughter facility for Rundu

Home Featured New slaughter facility for Rundu

By John Muyamba

RUNDU – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry intends to construct a new abattoir at Rundu at a cost of N$110,8 million.

The ground-breaking ceremony took place yesterday at the old abattoir in Rundu that is going to be demolished to make way for the planned new multi-million-dollar meat processing plant that will be equipped with modern cold-storage and meat-processing facilities.

The project forms a major part of the national programme that aims at enhancing the cattle and beef value chain in the northern communal areas (NCAs) specifically in Kavango East and Kavango West. 

John Mutorwa, the Minister of Agriculture Water and Forestry, who was the guest of honour at the ceremony said the abattoir would be built in line with the NDP4 goals and objectives of developing the NCAs. 

“The project has been carefully and holistically conceptualized and scoped, to look at the entire value chain; from trading with farmers, upgrading the slaughter capacity plus the hygiene and safety conditions of the existing slaughtering facility in Rundu,” said Mutorwa.

According to the minister, the key and very important aim of the meat processing and cold room facilities is to centrally process and refrigerate products up to a period of 21 days if products are required for export (to meet veterinary regulations on meat north of the NCAs).  

He also said that by upgrading the abattoir in Rundu to slaughter approximately 40 cattle or 80 sheep/goats per day “the improved potential, that will positively impact on the local, regional as well as the national economy will be self-evident.”

Speaking at the same event, Sirkka Ausiku the Governor for Kavango West urged local authority leaders and constituency councillors to take the message to the people in their communities. She said communal farmers need to be aware of the latest development.

 “Many people are saying on the local radio that they are not getting information, not getting clarity, so let’s get closer to them as leaders, not only come to events where the ministers are officiating and when they go back, we sit and relax. We must go to our constituencies, to our people in our areas to go and spread the news with clarity,” she said.

She also urged women to be part of developmental activities.

 “We should not only apply 50/50 participation on the party level but also in development activities,” said Ausiku. 

The Rundu abattoir will be modernized and upgraded to meet international meat hygiene norms and standards. The plant will be equipped with properly designed cold rooms, allowing the operators the much needed component to make the facilities financially feasible. 

The deboned meat and processed meat will then be packaged and branded in accordance with international best practices and then refrigerated ready for dispatch to markets within and outside Namibia.

According to Mutorwa the ultimate goal of the project is to increase the slaughter of cattle and goats, encourage value-addition and create additional economic activities through secondary business ventures in the Kavango regions.

Chairperson of the Kavango Regional Council, who is also the councillor of Mashare Constituency, Bonifasius Wakudumo, said the plant would empower northern communal farmers as well as provide employment for local people.

Once the facility is operational the following specific impacts are expected: improved meat and hygiene, safe food, the creation of direct and indirect jobs, skilling of Namibians citizens to become masters or experts of a specific trade, utilization of NCA cattle in the mainstream economy while the secondary economic spin-offs will include value addition and import substitution.

Furthermore, the abattoir project will also focus on the establishment of SME markets,  and using some of the output of the cold storage facilities for conversion into a variety of raw and processed meat products, as well as for fish, fruit and vegetables, depending on the production and demand in the regions. 

The period of construction is 15 months while the tender for the construction of the proposed abattoir is yet to be awarded.