08 Jul 2014 15:50pm
RUNDU, 08 JUL (NAMPA) - High transportation costs and the long distances livestock owners in the two Kavango regions travelled for slaughtering will soon be something of the past, as the Rundu abattoir is about to be upgraded.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the upgrading of the facility was held here on Tuesday.
The Rundu abattoir was closed in 2001 due to the low volumes of cattle brought here for slaughter.
Since its closure, farmers in the Kavango East and West regions have had to fork out huge amounts of money to transport their cattle to the Oshakati abattoir in the Oshana Region for slaughter.
The upgrade will include the construction of a cold storage and meat-processing facility, and is set to cost N.dollars 110 million.
The meat-processing and coldroom facility will centrally process and refrigerate products for up to a period of 21 days, if such products are required for export.
This is in order to meet veterinary regulations on meat from the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs).
Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa said at the event that his ministry has embarked upon a national programme to construct and upgrade several abattoirs in the NCAs, which were previously neglected, despite the fact that they processed big numbers of livestock.
These NCAs include the Kunene, Ohangwena, Kavango East and West, Zambezi and parts of the Otjozondjupa regions Tsumeb constituency.
The Agriculture Minister was optimistic that this facility will support farmers to market their livestock, which will subsequently improve their livelihood and the countrys economy.
The local economies in both regions will have to grow due to activities at these newly-created livestock trading centres, and the Rundu abattoir will be modernised and upgraded to meet international meat hygiene norms and standards, said Mutorwa.
The upgrade means the facility will now be able to slaughter 40 cattle and 80 sheep or goats per day, which will positively impact the local, regional and national economy.
The abattoir will also be equipped with properly-designed coldroom facilities, allowing the operators a much-needed component to make the facilities financially viable.
Mutorwa stressed that the ultimate goal of the facility is to increase the slaughter of cattle and goats, to encourage value-addition to these species, and to increase additional economic activities through secondary business ventures in the region.
The groundbreaking ceremony was witnessed by members of farmers unions, the farming communities in the two regions as well as regional and Local Authority councillors.