Ministry of agriculture Executive Director Percy Misika says the commercial commencement of slaughtering of livestock at the Katima Mulilo abattoir will enable cattle farmers to sell their cattle to the abattoir.
This in return enables them to generate income from their livestock, which will enhance their livelihoods.
The Zambezi Meat Corporation (Zamco) re-opened the former Meatco Abattoir at Katima Mulilo with help from the Meat Board of Namibia.
The first commercial slaughter at the abattoir after its closure five years ago was done on 29 September 2020.
The corporation, owned by local farmers, is expected to boost the region’s economy, by enabling farmers to destock during drought.
He highlighted the commercial commencement of slaughtering will further stimulate and boost the local or regional economy, through much-needed employment creation. “It will further reduce overgrazing of the pasture and thus enhance ecological sustainability in the region,” he said.
Local farmers in the Zambezi have for a long time been struggling to market their livestock since Meatco closed the abattoir.
He explained the commencement is part of the ministry’s effort to ensure access to formal markets by livestock producers across the country.
Misika said the abattoir can accommodate 110 livestock per day.
The abattoir can slaughter 1 320 cattle per month or 15 000 cattle per year and is likely to boost the availability of fresh beef in the region.
On the response from farmers since its commencement, he said this initiative is welcomed by the producers within the region as it has been long overdue.