Tsabong — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi yesterday performed the ground breaking ceremony for construction of a P161 789 275 multi-species abattoir in Tsabong.
The President said the state of the art abattoir would facilitate production and marketing of livestock and game products and increase the country’s export revenue.
It would play a great role in marketing Botswana’s beef, mutton, lamb, chevon and game meat, he said.
Noting that the Kgalagadi District experienced multiple challenges including poor climatic conditions and lack of development, Dr Masisi said the project signified government’s commitment to distribute development in an even and balanced manner.
He said since the Kgalagadi area was renowned for cattle, small-stock and game farming, it was of utmost importance that it be adequately supported to overcome its myriad of challenges.
President Masisi described construction of the facility as a significant milestone towards fulfilling government’s promise to support small farms viability and unlock Botswana’s potential as a hub for producing high quality food for local consumption and for export.
The small-stock population of about 1.5 million comprising 1.2 million goats and 264 000 sheep, he said, showed that the sector had the potential to contribute towards economic diversification, poverty eradication and employment creation efforts as well as food security and nutrition.
He said the current small-stock population had the potential to meet local demand for both mutton and chevron with an estimated production of 28 000 77 000 carcasses.
“The Tsabong abattoir is expected to slaughter 50-60 cattle or a minimum of 300 small stock per day,” he said.
Dr Masisi also said the project would facilitate the growth of the livestock sector, skills transfer and dissemination.
“This project is one of the critical links to the implementation of the beef and small-stock cluster strategies which are key to commercialisation and to improving competitiveness of the country’s livestock sub-sector,” he said.
Another plus was that the abattoir would accelerate Botswana’s efforts towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals emphasising food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation, socio-economic growth and infrastructure development.
Dr Masisi said the economic potential of small-stock and game farming in Botswana had remained untapped for a long due to among others lack of access to markets.
The President said government had now secured a market to supply goats and sheep to the Middle East and Europe.
The markets presented an opportunity for farmers to increase the number and quality of their small stock, he said.
“I am confident that you will take advantage of these opportunities by ensuring that you feed this abattoir with quality animals for effective market supply. I also urge you to comply with the traceability requirements of the markets by registering all your goats ad sheep under the Botswana Animal Traceability System (BAITS),” said Dr Masisi.
Dr Masisi said the abattoir would mainly provide services to Kgalagadi, Kweneng west and Ngwaketse west districts, all of which had small-stock population of close to one million.
The facility, which would be built with due consideration of environmental standards, consists of abattoir modules and insulated panels, waste and bulk water treatment system as well as a reticulation system.
It would also provide safe and hygienic slaughter services, the President said.
Construction is expected to take approximately a year and half.
Source : BOPA