04 Jun 2018 18:50pm
OUTAPI, 04 JUN (NAMPA) Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Alpheus !Naruseb on Monday handed over the Outapi Abattoir to the Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA), which will be the facilitys new operator.
The Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) was in charge of the Outapi Abattoir previously, before its upgrading by the ministry to the tune of N.dollars 25 million.
The NNLVA is taking over the operations of the abattoir under the Beef Chain Development for the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) project.
In his inauguration address, !Naruseb said one of the main objectives of the project is to create diversified marketing opportunities both in the domestic and export markets for meat originating in the NCAs through the value chain.
The NNLVA will operate the Outapi Abattoir in partnership with Ettiene Scholtz, the owner of African Meat Supplies at Oshakati.
I am pleased to note that the operator (NNLVA) has entered into a joint venture agreement with a private meat processing firm, linking meat produced in this abattoir to a processing facility in Oshakati, !Naruseb told his audience.
According to !Naruseb, the livestock and meat industry in the NCAs has been experiencing serious marketing challenges, both at local and international levels.
These challenges, he said, are occasioned by factors such as the separation of the NCAs from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recognised Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free zone, through the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), commonly referred to as the Red Line.
The VCF effectively restricts access of meat originating in the NCAs to lucrative export markets.
The minister also noted that the 2015 outbreak of FMD in the FMD-Protection Zone (NCAs) and the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs in 2016, are other challenges facing the NCA beef marketing.
Speaking at the same event, Omusati Governor Erginus Endjala noted that 270 000 livestock are found in his region as per the 2011 agricultural census, and these are cattle of farmers struggling to access the beef market locally and elsewhere.
Endjala expressed his belief that the operationalisation of Outapi Abattoir will open up the market and add value to the regions beef products, as neighbouring Angola has also shown interest in Namibian beef.
The governor further noted that the high cattle population has currently placed pressure on the grazing in the area.
The Eenhana Abattoir, also to be upgraded to the cost of N.dollars 25 million, is expected to be handed over to the NNLVA in July this year.