The Rundu abattoir and meat processing facility, which is being constructed at a cost of N$110.8 million, is on track and is expected to be completed by January 2017.
The new multi-million-dollar meat processing plant that is to be equipped with modern cold-storage and meat-processing facilities will not serve as a cattle slaughter facility for beef export only, but also for small stock, such as goats. Once completed, the facility will have a slaughter capacity of maximum 50 cattle and 150 goats per day. Cattle slaughtering remains the facility’s core function.
The Rundu abattoir and meat processing facility is being built to top notch standards, as the meat is processed there intended for export purposes. However, provision will also be made to sell to local residents, according to Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa, who visited the site last week.
Farmers from the “Red Line” upwards have encountered problems in selling their livestock over the years, as many of their cattle do not necessarily meet the quality standards and they cannot be classified as Grade B meat, as their cattle are often thin, old and generally of poor quality.
The new processing facility will help solve that problem, because such livestock will now be processed for a range of raw and processed meat products meat, like polony and viennas.
“It is a national facility that is being put up here. Once it is completed, together with the ones in Oshakati and Katima Mulilo, we will have abattoirs and processing facilities that will be managed through the directorate of veterinary service that will be certified as export-oriented abattoirs,” said Mutorwa.
“All this is to the advantage of the farmers. Namibia is a beef producing country, hence we decided to put up this abattoir here and I’m so glad. As I said, my purpose in coming here is just to get an onsite briefing as to how far is the work and to see whether the work is going on well,” Mutorwa added.
According to John Mutorwa, these facilities are necessary as farmers have been deprived and therefore it is the responsibility of government to put up facilities, like the Rundu abattoir and meat processing facility to assist local farmers.
“Only government can take the lead, because we have a situation in Namibia where you have communal land and freehold title deed land. Now in the communal areas those individuals who want to put up big projects will not be willing to do so, because they don’t have a title deed over the land, so government has to take the lead, as per Article 98 of the Namibian Constitution,” Mutorwa noted.
Construction of the main building and infrastructure of the abattoir commenced in March last year and would be completed next year January. The project is a key part of the national programme to enhance the cattle and beef value chain in the northern communal areas (NCAs), specifically in Kavango East and Kavango West, as well as focus on the establishment of SME markets and using some of the output of the cold storage facilities for conversion.
Rundu abattoir is being constructed by Zhongmei Engineering Group, working in a joint venture with a local contractor, Palladium Investment.