KAT was previously known as the Ostrich Production of Namibia (OPN), a business that had the capacity to process around 1,200 ostrich skins/day but collapsed due to a variety of reasons, among them low supply of birds. Pohamba welcomed the setting up of the meat processing facility 20 km outside Keetmanshoop.
The founding president, Dr Sam Nujoma, president of the Namibia Farmers Union, Rainer von Hase, farmers in the area, governors of the Karas and Hardap regions and other top government officials witnessed the inauguration of the new business venture.
The president emphasised the need for the private sector to explore opportunities in manufacturing, adding that manufacturing and value addition to raw materials remain critical to production of finished goods for local consumption and export. He added that the government had instituted a levy of 60% on the export of raw sheepskin as a way of encouraging investors to process the raw materials locally.
Industrial development in Namibia has been an uphill battle, given a combination of historical factors and geographical and climatic conditions. Nonetheless, the president urged the private sector to become productive and expand value addition to the country’s raw materials. This, he believes, will increase Namibia’s competitiveness in the SADC region and beyond.
BMP is owned by Namibian businesses – Frans Indongo Group and Naneni Investments. BMP employs about 178 Namibians.
Chairman of BMP, Frans Indongo, said that a new business plan focusing on integrated value addition has been done and would help the Karas Region create jobs especially for young people. He regretted the fact that the country has for long exported raw products, depriving the local people of jobs, in a country where unemployment stands at over 37 percent.
Many new businesses collapse and the president said that Namibia cannot be developed in the shadow of failed businesses. Pohamba advised workers at BMP against labour unrest which could bring down production. He urged employees at BMP, the management and farmers in the area to work together and ensure that this new business venture contributes meaningfully to Namibia’s wellbeing.