By PISAI GUMAR
THE beef production at the Niugini Properties Ltd abattoir has declined while consumption rate has increased in Lae city and around the country.
The abattoir supplies carcasses to various butcheries and retailers who then distribute beef nationwide.
But lately, the demand has risen and the supply has fallen.
It is a two fold hit on the industry.
The shortfall in productions came about because cattle herds at one of the major suppliers, the Markham Farms in Morobe province, were being distributed to other regions.
The beef supplies in retail shops dropped as the retail price per kilogram increased with the price of T-bone steak going at K28 a kilo at one of the leading shops in Lae – up from K22 last June.
The abattoir, formerly owned by the Livestock Development Corporation (LDC), used to slaughter 3,000 cows a year; that is between 80 and 90 animals a week.
However, the slaughtering rate has markedly dropped to 55-60 a week, affecting production requirement to meet customer demand.
The cattle farms at Wampar, Erap and Sialum had also supplied cattle to the abattoir.
Wampar Cattleman’s Association spokesman Martin Eris and Markham farms manager John Moripi also said the consumer demand was dictated by social migration coupled with mining and petroleum-gas projects in the country.