The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform officially handed over the Rundu abattoir to MeatCo yesterday.
The abattoir is intended to serve as a market for cattle and small stock farmers in the Kavango East, West, and surrounding regions.
The construction of the Rundu abattoir started in 2014 and was expected to be completed in 2017.
The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Carl Schlettwein, stated that the outbreak of COVID-19 and disruptions in tourism and other economic activities delayed the completion of the abattoir.
The abattoir cost the government about N$40 million in renovation and slaughter trials, which started in April this year.
The facility has a slaughter capacity of between 80 and 120 cattle per day and, in addition, small stock.
"Farmers must have an opportunity to trade with their animals, and the best way is to round them up into high-quality slaughter-ready animals, which subsequently assure the throughput of the abattoirs. With this piece of infrastructure now being available, we have taken one major step towards contributing to our goal of food security and self-sufficiency while at the same time improving the livelihoods of farmers and their workers," said Schlettwein.
The abattoir will also export to various markets, namely Angola, Ghana, and the Middle East.
MeatCo CEO Mushokambanji Mwilima assured the ministry that the abattoir would bring forth great results.
"This abattoir is in good hands; it's critical that I bring that to you. The role of an abattoir is to produce agripreneurs who are apprised by the price that those who are operating the abattoirs are paying the farmers."
The Governor of the Kavango East Region, Bonifatius Wakudumo, while applauding the new development, urged the government to look into the road infrastructure in the inlands to help the farmers easily deliver their livestock to the abattoir.
"Yes, we appreciated and valued the fact that we have a very state-of-the art abattoir, but how do we transport the animas to be slaughtered? At the end of the day, we are going to say, No, the people in the two regions cannot support the abattoir; yes, they will not support us if we don't construct roads."