Four years after its unceremonious closure, the Oshakati Eloolo Abattoir is back in business.
The reopening of the abattoir is a result of the joint venture between a Namibian and Chinese-owned company.
The partnering companies are KIAT Investments Holding (Pty) Ltd and Chinese company Ningbo Agriculture Investment Group (Pty).
At the official re-opening of the facility yesterday, agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein said the revival of the abattoir supports government policies and strategies to facilitate market access of livestock and related products, as well as the development of the beef value chain in the communal areas of Namibia.
“The Namibian beef value chain sustains both large and small cattle farmers. The new balance that must be found is one that assures access for all farmers to it without risking the loss of either, access to the best paying export markets in Europe and access to domestic and regional markets,” said Schlettwein.
The minister further noted the livestock and meat industry in the northern regions of Namibia have been experiencing serious marketing challenges at both local and international levels for far too long.
“The opening and operationalisation of the Oshakati Abattoir ushers in a great relief to farmers in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs), who could not formally market their cattle since 2016,” he said.
“The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has renovated some abattoirs countrywide. Outapi, Oshakati, Eenhana and Katima Mulilo, while the Rundu Abattoir is being upgraded and is nearing completion.”
Furthermore, Schlettwein said, the government is planning to upgrade the Opuwo slaughterhouse and construct the Bukalo Meat Processing Facility, both of which will be funded through the European Development Fund (EDF) 11 Project.
Schlettwein said government is currently constructing the Ongwediva Meat Processing Plant, and the only outstanding work is to equip the facility with processing machinery and other equipment.
“We have confidence and responsibility that together with the ministry of agriculture; we will export northern Namibia cattle and mutton to China, increase foreign exchange reserves for the country, and bring many job opportunities to the people,” a representative of Ningbo said.
The company said through the joint efforts, they will turn Namibia into a first-class animal husbandry, production, processing and export country in a very short time.