Commercial ­slaughtering starts at Katima abattoir

05 October 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The Katima ­Mulilo Export Abattoir in the Zambezi Region last week started with its first commercial slaughtering.

Meatco had closed the abattoir because of operational losses of about N$45 million during the 2014/15 financial year.

Meatco therefore opted not to renew its contract with the government to operate the abattoirs at Oshakati and Katima Mulilo. However, Meatco will again operate the abattoir for the next five years because the Zambezi Meat Corporation (Zamco), which won the tender to operate the abattoir in 2017, lacks the capacity to run it. Meatco will be working in partnership with Zamco.

According to the Meat Board of Namibia's latest newsletter, the dire need to market cattle led to approximately 200 Zambezi farmers creating Zamco.

The organisation was successful in the bidding process and was appointed by the government to operate the abattoir.



Recommissioning

Although the agreement between the government and Zamco was signed in August 2017, the real process of recommissioning the abattoir started in November 2019 with the appointment of the Meat Board to repair and replace obsolete equipment.

Project coordination together with a generous financial contribution by the Meat Board, as well as financial support from the ministry and extraordinary commitments from service providers, specialists from Meatco and staff, resulted in a successful trial run at the end of February this year. An audit slaughter for the Directorate of ­Veterinary Services was done from 27 May to 5 June.

“For the moment, all product will be shipped to south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence while a strong possibility exists of consignments to be exported to DRC.

“Everything obviously would be subject to price negotiations. Recent research conducted by the Meat Board indicated that the local Zambezi region market could only absorb one day's production at the Zambezi abattoir within a month,” the Meat Board said.

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