14 Aug 2017 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 14 AUG (NAMPA) The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry will avail N.dollars 14 million for the rehabilitation of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs.
Speaking at a media conference here on Monday, Permanent Secretary Percy Misika said the money will be made available from the N.dollars 110 million allocation to the Directorate of Veterinary Services from the European Development Fund.
Misika said the rehabilitation comes after the lease agreement between the ministry and the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) signed in 2011 expired in 2014, and Meatco has decided not to renew the agreement, making operations of the abattoirs redundant.
The ministry in February 2016 invited expression of interest in the operation of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs, which led to the bidding and awarding to Oshakati Elolo and Zambezi Meat Corporation as the new operators of the two abattoirs, respectively.
Livestock producers above the Red Line (northern communal areas) have been negatively affected by closure of these abattoirs, as they had very limited options to market their livestock, said Misika.
He also slammed allegations that meat from above the Red Line is not consumable, adding that people in the northern regions consume the same meat that is also transported to South Africa.
Misika said this meat returns to Namibia as processed goods such as hot dogs, corned meat, salami and polonies.
The PS explained that the trade agreement with other international stakeholders such as the European Union are requesting for meat from above the Red Line.
The northern part is pandemic to foot and mouth disease, hence traders do not consider to purchase their meat there, however that meat is consumable, he said.
The Agro Marketing and Trade Agency will administer the 25-year lease agreement of the abattoirs on behalf of the ministry and shall be responsible for maintenance.
Misika emphasised that the lease will be paid into an account designated by the Ministry of Finance under the State Revenue Fund.