Facility to Jack Up Stock Auctions

Livestock marketing in communal areas received a major boost recently with the opening of a multi-million dollar auction kraal at Lusese, some 60 km east of Katima Mulilo.

Inaugurating the facility which cost N$4 million, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa said the centre should go a long way towards improving livestock marketing. “Agriculture remains the mainstay of our country’s economy. Despite this being the case, livestock marketing in communal areas, especially in the northern communal areas, has been a major problem due to non-existence of proper livestock marketing facilities,” said the minister. “For livestock farmers in Zambezi a conducive environment for livestock marketing has now been created to sell their livestock and livestock products,” added Mutorwa.

In addresing the shortage of such facilities, Mutorwa said government has devised solutions aimed at developing livestock marketing infrastructure in communal areas. He added that the facilities would extend their activities to other areas of production. “These facilities will not only cater for marketing of slaughter-ready and breeding livestock but will also be used for other essential farmer activities like vaccinations, hosting of agricultural shows and loading of cattle to the abattoirs,” he said.

“The government embarked on a national project to develop livestock infrastructure in communal areas. The objective is to construct and upgrade livestock marketing facilities as well as train farmers,” he said at the launch. The Lusese facility, which includes marketing stalls, will further also accommodate small and medium enterprises to exhibit their products. “This facility will cater for small and medium sized enterprises through the provision of marketing stalls, which will enhance the participation of rural women in business by having the necessary infrastructure for them to exhibit their goods in order to satisfy the needs of their customers,” stated the agriculture minister.

Mutorwa, who appealed for proper care of the facility to ensure its sustainability, revealed that the ministry was envisioning outsourcing similar such centres. “The ministry of agriculture has reviewed the auction kraal lease agreements and will very soon aertise for the facilities to be leased out to farmer associations, cooperatives, community based organisations or individuals for a period of five years,” said Mutorwa.

Zambezi has a cattle population of about 140 000.

Source : New Era