RUNDU – Farmers in the Zambezi Region have nowhere to sell their livestock as the region lacks a functional abattoir. The Zambezi Meat Corporation (Zamco) which was supposed to operate the government’s Katima Mulilo abattoir in the region is still to start its operations after the firm was awarded rights by the government to operate the slaughterhouse.
However, the abattoir remains closed to date.
New Era understands the facility is undergoing renovations that started last year.
Since the closure of Meatco in Zambezi over four years ago, Zamco which was created to save the situation, has struggled to get off the ground.
“Imagine a farmer that had 300 cattle four years ago, hasn’t sold anything to date and the number of his or her livestock have increased but cannot destock. Government must do something,” a concerned farmer, who requested aninomity, told New Era.
The farmers have also appealed to Meatco to at least make available its mobile abattoir, which is curently stationed at the the Matumbo Ribebe quarantine camp, some kilometres south of Rundu, to relieve farmers.
However, Meatco says they have no plans to move the mobile abattoir. “Yes, Meatco has stopped operating in Zambezi over four years ago and for now the mobile abattoir will remain in Kavango East because we find it business sound to have it there until such time management decides otherwise. There are no plans to move it at this point,” said Meatco’s spokesperson Rosa Hamukwaya-Thobias.
Attempts to get comment from the ministry of agriculture proved futile.