Sunday, May 26, 2024
BusinessEight New Abattoirs near completion amidst meager livestock supply

Eight New Abattoirs near completion amidst meager livestock supply

Existing slaughterhouses only using 30% of their capacity

Eight new export slaughterhouses finalized more than 50 percent of their construction, with two of them already requesting operation permits, while others acquire machineries. Each of the slaughter houses have been constructed at a minimum investment cost of 200 million birr.

Once operational, the new abattoirs will double Ethiopia’s installed capacity to 200,000 tons of meat annually.

However, the existing 12 export slaughterhouses are utilizing only 30 percent of their installed capacity, due to lack of animal supply. Ethiopia exported 10,000 tons of processed meat and 800 tons of feed over the past six months, generating USD50 million.

The performance is up by 4,000 tons from last year’s same period, according to Ayalew Shumet (PhD), director of export slaughter-houses Inspection and Certification directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture. 

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“Once the eight are operational, Ethiopia might not need additional investments in new slaughterhouses because it saturates. But new investments will need at least 300 million birr,” said Ayalew.

According to Ayalew, limitations in export destination, contraband of livestock through border areas and lack of reliable ranches are major factors behind the poor export performance. Currently, Ethiopia is undertaking diplomatic efforts and trade negotiations to tap into new markets in China and Malaysia, which has close to one million tons of meat demand annually. So far, export is largely limited to the Middle East, especially to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Large slaughterhouses such as Allana, which was built at a cost of USD100 million at Adami Tulu, stopped production due to problems related to lack of animal supply. Verde Beef, the only company engaged in ranch business and supply of quality animals for export slaughterhouses, is also facing challenges, according to the director.

Ethiopia has 70 million cattle, 52 million goats, 42 million sheep and 8.1 million camel populations, according to data from the directorate.

However, quality and continuous supply of meat and milk animals remain an underlying bottleneck for the processing and exporting industries. This in turn is attributable to traditional animal rearing, absence of traceability and illegal border trade. Over 1.5 million live animals are smuggled out via borders annually, according to the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute.

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