A permanent abattoir to improve hygiene meat for domestic consumption and ultimately to satisfy international quarantine regulations curtailing meat exports will soon become a reality.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt confirmed that negotiations with the World Bank funding the project should be finalised in the near future.
“Tentatively, the construction of the abattoir at Nu’u should start before the end of the year,” added the Minister. “$3 million tala from the World Bank is allocated for the Central Abattoir.
“The facility when completed will take over the processing of all meat products, from poultry, pigs, cattle and lamb before they can be sold commercially.
“Any meat which will not be processed by the Central Abattoir is banned from the commercial market here and abroad.
“Ultimately, the main component of the project is also to revive our meat export.
“So far, our markets are restricted in the region with Cook Islands and Tonga as two of our main outlets but we want to enter the lucrative outlets in the United States via American Samoa.” He says initially two mobile abattoirs have been combing the cattle farms slaughter and process the animals.
While some bigger farms have abattoir facilities most don’t and the Laaulialemalietoa says for health reasons there is a need for greater control.
With 70% of beef currently being imported into Samoa, there is a huge opportunity for local farmers to enter the market as commercial sellers.
With that in mind, since July 2012, the World Bank and the Samoan Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries have been working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries through the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project (S.A.C.E.P).
Its goal is to support livestock producers and fruit and vegetable growers improve their productivity and take greater advantage of market opportunities.
“Now in its third year, the project– with the close support of the Small Business Enterprise Centre and the Development Bank of Samoa – has approved grant financing of approximately SAT $2.5 million (US$316,500) for 172 livestock farmers to upgrade their pastures and facilities and increase their herds.
The training on improved husbandry practices already appears to be making a difference, with provisional results seeing the calving rate increase from 48% at the start of the project to 64%,” says a report published by the World Bank.