RUNDU – The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) has resumed operations at its Katima Mulilo abattoir in the Zambezi region following a successful test slaughtering of six cattle on Thursday, Meatco spokesperson Rosa Hamukwaya-Thobias said.
“Meatco has been roped in by government since we are the ones with the technical knowhow to go in and assist in operating the abattoir, with us obviously having the previous experience when we used to lease it from government. And the test slaughter went fine,” Hamukwaya-Thobias said last week.
“We are back to assist the farmers and really those farmers have been without a market. But from our side the test slaughter went well, although there are just some few things that need to be fixed, the plumbing and so on. We are collaborating with the Meat Board and are bringing in our technical expertise to help Zambezi Meat Corporation (Zamco),” she added.
Early this year, farmers in Zambezi complained of a lack of market for their livestock as Zamco, which was supposed to operate the government’s Katima Mulilo abattoir in the region, was taking forever to kick-start operations.
In response to the concerns raised by the farmers, the executive director in the ministry of agriculture Percy Misika said Zamco has since entered into an agreement with Meatco to assist it in operating the abattoir for a period of five years.
This, according to Misika, will allow Zamco to build its technical, administrative, logistical and financial capacity to eventually take over the operations in five years’ time. Misika further said government would be left with no choice but to terminate the contract and allow Meatco to run the abattoir should Zamco not demonstrate its readiness to operate the facility. “Imagine a farmer that had 300 cattle four years ago, hasn’t sold anything to date and the number of his or her livestock has increased but cannot destock. Government must do something,” a concerned farmer, who requested anonymity, told New Era in January.