By BUUMBA CHIMBULU in Solwezi
POULTRY farmers from Mumena Chiefdom in Solwezi now have a readily market for their chickens supply following the establishment of an abattoir supported by Barrick Lumwana Mine.
With funding from the mine, the Mutanda abattoir, with a daily chicken production of 2,500, is empowering the community in the chiefdom while supporting value addition.
The abattoir is being operated by an organisation called NKWASHO.
During a Barrick Lumwana media tour yesterday in Solwezi, NKWASHO Chief Executive Officer, Mara Michelo, said US$450, 000 was expected to be spent this year to grow the plant and empower more local poultry farmers.
Ms Michelo noted that this was the only poultry agro processing plant in the region, ready to facilitate value addition in the province.
“Our daily production is 2, 500, we have aspirations and a vision to grow our production. This is one of the community development programmes that is sponsored by Barrick Luwmana Mine together with the Mumena Royal Establishment and Mumena community cooperatives.
“We have been open since mid-November 2023. For this year alone, we have about US$112, 000 which is being given in batches and we have already spent about US$65, 000 with more investment coming in from Barrick and other partners, so for this year alone we are looking to spend over US$450, 000 to be able to grow the plant,” she said.
According to Ms Michelo, the abattoir was currently building a network of about 500 poultry farmers that were supplying them with chickens.
And the Mumena Royal Establishment chairperson, Lumba Demus, said: “The facility has employed youths from the community and has added value in the chiefdom. The community is benefitting from the abattoir so for us this is a plus. The machinery there has been done by the Lumwana mine.”
Representing the community, Chinyama Selwa, Chairman of Mumena Agro Business and Meat Processing Cooperative, said the development of the mines in the area encouraged many of people to invest in various farming activities, including chicken growing
“Before the abattoir we had a challenge to sell our chickens, so we are now able to deliver at one spot with the establishment of the abattoir,” he said.