Local beef too expensive for Angola

07 August 2019 | Agriculture

President Hage Geingob has poured cold water on plans to supply beef to Angola, saying this had happened in the past, but was stopped by the neighbouring country because of high prices.

The head of state was speaking at a town hall meeting at Ongwediva on Monday, where he answered questions posed by Namibian National Farmers Union (NNFU) president Jason Emvula.

Emvula said there is a demand for Namibian beef in Angola, but no supply coming from the Land of the Brave. He therefore urged Namibia to consider supplying beef to Angola, which has also been mooted in the past by Omusati governor Erginus Endjala and others. In July 2017 it was also reported that Angola had planned to put a ban on its importing of meat from other countries, to make way for Namibian imports.

Geingob said on Monday that Angola used to buy beef from Namibia, but they stopped.

“Angolans like our meat and they used to buy from us, but our meat is expensive and that is why they stopped buying from Meatco. It is better for them to get their beef from Brazil than from Namibia,” the president said. Geingob and his cabinet delegation did not suggest any ways in which Namibian beef could be made more affordable for the Angolan market. Endjala said last year he was ready to facilitate talks with Angola, which has over the years demanded beef exports from the Northern Communal Areas (NCA).

Endjala, who was speaking during the handing-over ceremony of the Outapi abattoir, said beef exports had failed to take off in the past, because of the lack of a proper beef value chain in the northern regions.

He said the growing Angolan demand for NCA beef was exacerbated by the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs, which used to be operated by Meatco.

“Since Meatco closed its operations we have had an issue of a market. My office have been approached several times by our Angolan counterparts demanding for Namibian beef to enter into their market, but for too long we were not having facilities in the NCA to pursue this deal.”

“With the opening of this abattoir, it is now an opportunity for Namibian beef to enter the Angolan market. I am ready to facilitate these negotiations,” Endjala said that time.

He said Angolan meat agents also attended the Outapi event.

This impressed agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb who said government has done its part by investing in the beef value chain development facilities in the NCA, and the onus is now on operators and farmers to make sure the facilities are put to good use, for the benefit of all stakeholders.


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