13 Aug 2016 18:30pm
RUNDU, 13 AUG (NAMPA) - The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco)'s first-ever mobile slaughter unit arrived here on Friday.
The mobile abattoir, launched in Windhoek on 29 July 2016, was welcomed by the Governor of the Kavango East Region, Dr Samuel Mbambo and farmers from both the Kavango East and Kavango West regions at the Rundu Sports Stadium.
The abattoir truck is on its way to the Mutambo Ribebe Quarantine Camp, located some 50 kilometres (km) west of Rundu, where it will be stationed.
Timotheus Kativa, procurement officer for Meatco in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions including Tsumkwe, said the mobile abattoir is expected to slaughter more than 1 200 cattle here.
He explained that they will first slaughter cattle belonging to farmers who are under the Meatco-Owned Cattle (MOC) scheme which concentrates on securing cattle through binding contracts with producers. The scheme is dedicated to add value early in the meat-production chain.
There are 29 farmers registered with the scheme.
The mobile abattoir will be in the region until December or until such time it is needed, Kativa pointed out.
There will not be any quarantine requirements for the unit, as the meat that will be collected from the abattoir is only for local consumption. There is currently no Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak, thus no quarantine is required.
Farmers will thus only be required to visit Meatco offices for them to be provided with slaughter dates, said Kativa.
He said Meatco can assist farmers to transport their cattle from their farms to the mobile unit at the farmers own cost.
We are merely just facilitating the process of transporting the cattle to reach the mobile abattoir, said Kativa.
Timotheus Shinkeva, a farmer in the Kavango East Region, welcomed the latest development, noting that it comes as a relieve to many farmers who for the past two years could not sell cattle due to a FMD outbreak, which is now under control.
As farmers we suffered a lot financially. Some of our farms were overgrazed because of having too many cattle and there being lack of marketing facilities, he said.
Other farmers also noted their excitement with the initiative, saying it was difficult to travel 550km to slaughter their animals in Oshakati.