Rundu — The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has not been resting on its laurels as it has been working tirelessly capitalising on the country's comparative advantage in the production of quality livestock and livestock products which has created a high demand from other countries to consume and buy Namibian meat products.
This was the message delivered by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Percy Misika as he addressed delegates attending the Namibia National Farmers Union of Namibia (NNFU) stakeholders' engagement held in Rundu on Thursday under the theme: 'Sustainable Agricultural Investment through Public Private Partnerships.'
He said despite working hard the ministry had been facing some challenges: "While the southern parts of our country, south of the red cordon fence had access to these international markets, farmers here in the northern communal areas do not have that access and as such the ministry has put in place schemes to bring the northern communal farmers into that market and are also working on revitalising the current Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs, the Eenhana, Opuwo and now the Rundu abattoir and meat processing plant for that purpose.
"It is true I agree with the minister there have been delays in operationalising the Oshakati and the Katima Mulilo abattoirs. We secured funding for those abattoirs to the tune of 14 million from within internal services within the ministry to have them renovated and operationalise way back in June last year, but was delayed due to technicalities inter-ministerial and also within our ministry we had not been able to hand them over to the new operators," stated the permanent secretary.
"As of today, I was talking to my counterpart in the Ministry of Works and I'm told the documents will be delivered to my office, once delivered the ministry is prepared to use what we call the emergency procurement method under the new Procurement Act to contract the contractor that will go and renovate and probably by the beginning of April we could have them operational."
Misika also confirmed that the bills of quantities for the renovation and commissioning of the Katima Mulilo and Oshakati abattoirs had been delivered to the ministry.
He said work at the two abattoirs would start soon.
"The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry hereby confirms the receipt of the long awaited Bill of Quantity for the Katima Mulilo and Oshakati abattoirs ... and having received those documents. MAWF, in conjunction with the Ministry of Works and Transport, can now start the processes of renovating and commissioning the abattoirs using the existing procurement procedures," Misika assured in a statement issued on Friday.
"The MAWF would like to give assurance to the Namibian public that all efforts are being made to ensure the reopening of the abattoirs in the shortest possible time," he further stated.