Oshakati Eloolo Abattoir to facilitate the export of NCA cattle and mutton to China
A joint venture between a Namibian and Chinese-owned company led to the reopening of the Oshakati Eloolo Abattoir, which closed its doors in 2016.
The abattoir, which will serve as a great relief to farmers particularly in the northern communal areas (NCA), is managed and operated by KIAT Investments Holding (Pty) Ltd and Chinese company Ningbo Agriculture Investment Group (Pty).
To date the Oshakati Eloolo Abattoir has 50 permanent employees, and the production has started successfully. When in full swing the number of permanent employees will be 80, and around 20 casual workers who all will be Namibians.
The abattoir will also facilitate the export of northern Namibia cattle and mutton to China and increase foreign exchange reserves.
Speaking at the official opening of the abattoir alst week, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, explained that the Namibian beef value chain sustains both large and small cattle farmers.
“The new balance that must be found is one that assures access for all farmers to it without risking the loss of either, access to the best paying export markets in Europe and access to domestic and regional markets,” Schlettwein said.
He said that the opening and operationalisation of the Oshakati Abattoir ushers in a great relief to farmers in the northern communal areas, who could not formally market their cattle since 2016.
He added that his ministry has renovated some abattoirs countrywide, including those in Outapi, Oshakati, Eenhana and Katima Mulilo, while the Rundu Abattoir is being upgraded and is nearing completion.
He further shared the government’s plans to upgrade the Opuwo slaughterhouse and construct the Bukalo Meat Processing Facility, both of which will be funded through the European Development Fund (EDF) 11 Project.
Schlettwein said government is currently constructing the Ongwediva Meat Processing Plant, and the only outstanding work is to equip the facility with processing machinery and other equipment.
“It is envisaged that the completion of the upgrading and construction of the beef and livestock value chain infrastructures as highlighted above, will improve livelihoods and standards of living
of our farmers, through employment creation and skills development, especially for the youth and women,” he said.
The minister explained for these efforts to yield the required results, farmers would have to commit to produce and market quality animals to ensure optimal throughput of these facilities, while the operators of these facilities need to actively devise strategies that make them attractive for farmers to market their animals, through these facilities by developing lucrative domestic and export markets.