Fairness Moyana, Hwange Correspondent
THE Department of Veterinary Services has approved the setting up of two abattoirs in Matabeleland North Province.
The move is likely to bring relief to livestock farmers who have been complaining that the province was only relying on unregistered slaughter houses.
The two abattoirs are located in Matetsi and Madumabisa with the former expected to serve Victoria Falls while the latter will cater for Hwange. Hwange District has more than 90 butcheries whose meat was originating from unregistered slaughter houses.
Hwange District Veterinary Services officer Dr Lovemore Dube said the establishment of the abattoirs was a welcome move which would translate into increased productivity for the livestock farmer as well as boosting the leather industry through value addition.
“Yes, I can confirm that we now have two registered abattoirs in the province after going for more than 10 years without one.
You would find that livestock farmers were gravely affected as a large chunk of beef products was sourced from Bulawayo and beyond then sold to retailers and hotels. Also of note was that the absence of proper slaughtering facilities gave rise to illegal structures. This also had effects on the consumer as the prices were higher as outlets factored in the transport cost,” said Dr Dube.
He said as a department they were going to carry out advisory trainings and extension functions as part of strengthening the livestock farmers to produce the right product for the market.
“What it means now is that as a department we have to strengthen the farmer through training and extension functions so that the livestock farmer can produce a product which is required by the retailer and ultimately the consumer. Our role now will be strengthening our core business of disease surveillance, control and prevention of notifiable animal and zoonotic diseases and pests.”
He added that Government and donors would come in to assist in improving the local farmers through various interventions such as artificial insemination and provision of quality bulls to change the breed.
Dr Dube said the beef and leather value chain was now complete with the development which would increase livestock population while supporting Government policy on employment creation, value addition, poverty reduction and eventual export markets. The establishment of abattoirs is also expected to reduce stock theft cases and spread of diseases through legal movements of animals.