Chinese investors construct Shs17.5billion modern abattoir in Kiruhura district

Sino Modern Agriculture Development Group Limited has constructed Zhong Wu beef abattoir at Nshara Industrial Park, in Nyakasharara sub-county Nyabushozi county with a target on the beef market in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC].

The modern beef facility in Kiruhura district cost the Chinese company Shs.17.5billion.

While commissioning the facility, Hon Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister for Animal Industry said, the new modern abattoir will address beef market challenges in the region.

“Meat in Uganda is much cheaper than in DRC where a kilogram goes for as high as Shs.60,000. So, now that we have commissioned this factory, farmers will reap much more from their animals,” said Rwamirama.

Rwamirama also added that the abattoir in place will cement the continued bilateral trade relations between Uganda and DR Congo.

“What we are doing now is formalizing our trade between DRC and Uganda, because traditionally we have been exporting cattle to Congo. During the last Christmas season, we exported more than 13,000 cows through our borders just in a period of three days but now that we are going to start exporting beef, we don’t need to meet the European standards; instead, we shall benefit a lot from the regional market” Rwamirama said.

The Minister also encouraged farmers to focus on bull fattening and ensure good animal health to maintain the international market.

“I request the farmers to stop exonerating bulls from their farms but instead fatten them for slaughter because this abattoir requires 300 heads of cattle every day. So, I urge farmers to improve the genetic breeds to make sure that we have high-yielding animals both for dairy and beef in order to sustain the market,” he said.

Francis Mwebesa, the Minister of Trade Industry and Cooperatives applauded the Chinese for industrializing Uganda.

“As the government, we welcome the effort by Zhong Wu beef abattoir which is Chinese investment in the country. Their activities fit into our overall policy for industrialization, commercial farming, and international trade” Mwebesa said.

The Minister also encouraged the investors to provide expertise to local Ugandans to provide the necessary input that uplifts their income.

“This abattoir and its commercial undertaking are a significant addition to our trade relations. It should therefore be a strong source of motivation to both governmental and individual investors,” Mwebesa advised

He further called upon the people of Kiruhura and elsewhere to fully utilize the constructed modern abattoir commissioned in the district.

“I call upon the people of this area to begin operationalizing the facility which is located in their community. I encourage you to focus on cattle farming since you have a beef market across the border” said Mwebesa

Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries [MAAIF], challenged farmers to invest in farm value addition.

“The value chain helps the farmer to be sensitive to what the market requires. At MAAIF, we want to follow the value chain approach. If it is beef which is still the undeveloped aspect of the value chain, we should ask ourselves what we can do to prepare our cows for the beef market?” asked Tumwebaze

Dr. Anna Rose Ademun, the Commissioner of Animal Health confirmed that the government is planning to establish inland export quarantines and abattoirs to check on the quality of beef we supply to the market.

“Abattoirs have been established but most times the challenge is the inability to supply the required quantity of livestock, in the right category of weights and age. So, we are going to solve this by having an inland export quarantine, whereby the cattle for export can be held for 30 days, treated, vaccinated, and fed until when the animals have gained weight for export,” said Ademun.

Farmers from Kiruhura district being one of the cattle corridor districts in the Ankole sub-region, welcomed the new beef factory that will motivate them to shift from their cultural orientation of keeping cattle for only dairy products to also focusing on beef products to tap on the new market.

“In the past, our parents only relied on dairy cattle. Now we must accept change and start rearing bulls for increased beef supply from our district,” said Steven Kakuru

Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, a Presidential Advisor in charge of economic affairs said, the government’s Nshara ranch that only breeds Ankole local cattle was previously planned for such beef investments.

“Nshara ranch had its target on a wide market in future and with such a justified modern abattoir you can count how many beef cattle are required every day to satisfy the market” Kamuntu challenged farmers.

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