Schlettwein reopens Eloolo Abattoir

Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein on Thursday officially reopened the Oshakati Eloolo Abattoir in the Oshana Region, after the facility had closed shop in 2016.

A Namibian private company called Kiat Investment Holding and a Chinese-owned company, Ningbo Agriculture Investment Group, are jointly running the abattoir after Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform in 2017 identified the two entities to run the facility.

The abattoir closed in 2016 after Meatco, which operated the facility, ceased operations following reported financial constraints, including an operational loss of close to N.dollars 43 million.

“The operationalisation of the abattoir is expected to link livestock producers in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) to the formal markets of the entire country,” stated Schlettwein in his keynote address.

He emphasised that the reopening of the abattoir will support the government’s policies and strategies to facilitate market access of livestock and livestock products, as well as the development of the beef value chain in the Namibia communal areas.

The beef value chain development for the NCA Project, Schlettwein said, is an important building block under the government’s Growth at Home Strategy, the National Agricultural Policy, the Fifth National Development Plan, the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Vision 2030.

“It involves the upgrading and construction of abattoirs and meat processing facilities across the NCA,” the minister said.

He went on to say that the Namibian beef value chain sustains both large and small cattle farmers, noting that a new balance must be found to assure access for all farmers to the beef value chain without risking the loss of either, access to the best paying export markets in Europe, or access to domestic and regional markets.

Speaking at the same occasion, Kiat Investment Chief Executive Officer, Paully Iipinge, said the livestock sector plays a very important economic and socio-cultural role for the wellbeing of all Namibians.

Iipinge noted that to date, the abattoir has 50 permanent employees and that production had commenced successfully, adding that when operations are in full swing, the permanent employees will be 80, in addition to around 20 casual workers.

Aside from the Oshakati abattoir, the ministry also renovated the Outapi, Eenhana and Katima Mulilo abattoirs, while the Rundu abattoir is nearing the completion of its upgrade.

Source: Namibia Press Agency