KIAT Investment Holding, the company which won the rights to operate and manage the Oshakati Elolo Abattoir says it’s considering engaging the beleaguered, Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) to lease its meat processing plant in Ongwediva.
The company which currently has a 25-year lease for the Oshakati Elolo Abattoir, said the move will increase its existing slaughtering capacity currently at 200 cattle a day.
“The abattoir has a capacity to slaughter 200 cattle per day which can be increased if the company is to use an outside meat processing facility. AMTA has a meat processing facility with a capacity to process close to 1000 cattle per day. We have not yet talked to them but there may be a possibility to negotiate with them (AMTA),” KIAT Investments Executive Directors, Sikunawa Tshiponga Negumbo told the Windhoek Observer.
Negumbo said KIAT Investments’ pursuit of the possibility of leasing the Amta facility, which is currently not in use, is dependent on the support that the company will receive from local farmers, in terms of bringing in their cattle for slaughter.
“The target is to use the facility at 75 percent of the abattoir capacity, hoping that our farmers will be willing to sell cattle to the company. The number of cattle slaughtered at an abattoir depends on their availability,” he said.
Negumbo said the company was not ruling out exports following the recently completed N$100 million renovation to the facility by government.
“Oshakati Elolo Abattoir has been an exporting abattoir and as such if we follow the slaughtering rules, the Directorate of Veterinary Services may grant us an export status, the facility itself is graded as A-class meaning exporting abattoir,” he said.
“Abattoirs as large as the one at Oshakati require higher intensive investment. We have invested a lot of money to operate such a huge plant.”
To date, Negumbo said the company had already started the recruitment process for employees and was looking at creating employment for over 100 staff.
“KIAT has taken a process to employ potential workers by offering them job opportunity. Close to 120 are likely to start working at the abattoir as the time goes, but some will have stated by the end of July after their medical examination,” he said.
Meat processor, Meatco is currently providing technical assistance to the company, as part of efforts to capacitate the operators.
“Our role is to give technical support so the new operators are capacitated with the technical know-how as to how to effectively run an efficient abattoir,” Meatco Manager Corporate Affairs, Rosa Thobias said.
She, however, said the arrangement will not impact on the meat processors slaughtering operations in the north.
“Meatco has been involved in the NCA via our mobile slaughter situated in Rundu Matambo Ribebe,” she said.
Namibia is the region’s leading producer of quality beef and currently exports its highly sought-after free-range beef to many countries, including the European Union, the lucrative Norwegian market and now China.
Namibia was granted access to the American market in 2016 and under the US export rules, Namibia is eligible to export to the US boneless (not ground) beef raw products such as primal cuts, chucks, blade, and beef trimmings.