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Meat processing plant unveiled

The company’s initial capital outlay is M8 million, which was contributed by its shareholders Meraka Abattoir and a South African investor

Aug. 10, 2019 2 min read

MASERU - A group of local entrepreneurs on Monday unveiled a meat processing plant in Khubetsoana. The plant was officially opened by the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Chief Joang Molapo on behalf of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

The new project comes amid complaints from local red meat retailers about a body of wholesalers that sells meat at retail prices. “And this makes our businesses suffer and we are therefore likely to crash out of the market unless something is done,” the business people further complained.  Applauding the pioneering entrepreneurs, Chief Molapo said what they did was in line with the country’s National Strategic Development Plan.

“This business will help grow the economy and create employment opportunities in Lesotho. “People who will get employed here, will be able to put bread on their tables on a daily basis,” he said.About 60 people are expected to be employed at the plant at the inception of operations but more job opportunities will be created as the project grows. The company’s initial capital outlay is M8 million, which was contributed by its shareholders Meraka Abattoir and a South African investor, Stephan Engelbrecht, who hold 35 percent shares each.

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Its major target is to produce meat products such as polonies, a variety of sausages and biltong among others. The Minister of Small Business Chalane Phori said there was a gap between the national abattoir and the retailers. “This plant is going to bridge that gap,” Mr Phori said.

He said the plant would promote locally made processed meats such as viennas and polonies to mention a few.Mr Phori said they held a series of meetings with Mr Engelbrecht who came to Lesotho to research on the market. He commended Mr Engelbrecht and his partners from Meraka Abattoir for providing the financial muscle to kick start the project. “The plant has already installed lucrative processing machinery and cold storage equipment.

“I am happy that Mr Engelbrecht agreed to come to Lesotho to help grow the local economy. He will also expected to sell shares to the locals at affordable prices,” the minister said.He showed that although there were several meat storages in the country, there was however, a shortfall of processing the meats. He added: “This is part of the current coalition government’s initiative to create employment opportunities. Mr Engelbrecht is content that there is enough market in Lesotho for red meat as well as processed meats. As long as there are people out there, there will always be market for food.”

Mr Engelbrecht said the main aim of the project was to create market where local, self-sustainable farmers would sell their products as actual commercial farmers.He pledged to offer training facilities to equip local and upcoming farmers on the value of each cut of mutton, beef and chicken so that when they were in business, they would know how to maximise their profits.

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