The project was initiated by the NMI Namibia Group – comprising Namib Poultry Industries, Namib Mills and Feedmaster – in April last year, and the abattoir should receive its first chickens in April 2012. Namib Poultry general manager Gys White said that with a slaughter capacity of 250,000 chicks a week, the project had the potential to supply the whole of Namibia’s broiler demand. “We have estimated that we will be able to supply the whole Namibian market, and this is where our focus is going to be. However, our abattoir is built to export standards, so we have the possibility to export to the EU and other countries in the future,” he told GlobalMeatNews.
Under the Southern African Customs Union, any newly established industry in Namibia gets a competitive advantage over imported products, giving the business a head start and the opportunity to develop in better conditions.
“[The project] is going to subsitute a lot of imports. Namibia’s legislation is under the Southern African Customs Union, whereby Infant Industry Protection is received for the newly established poultry industry in Namibia, which means that, for the first four years, poultry imports will be levied by 46%, then 30% for two years, and 20% for another two years. This will help us and any other company that decides to join the poultry business,” White said.
The N$500m ($64m) plant, funded by NMI Namibia, Bank Windhoek and the Industrial Development Corporation of Southern Africa, will also create 450 jobs.
“The idea of an integrated chicken project is already 11 to 12 years old, but it took time to take shape because of funding, bird flu outbreaks and a general lack of focus. I started with the company in October 2009, dedicated to making the poultry project happen, and we finally got the funding and started the plans in April last year.
“Namibia has never had an integrated poultry project. It usually imports its poultry from South Africa, South America and Europe. NMI Namibia currently produces maize and wheat meal, as well as pasta, and from the by-products we make animal feeds, so an integrated project made sense,” White added.