Meatco focuses on farmers

Farmers were informed of plans to rezone the red line, in order to extend the FMD-free zone.

03 April 2019 | Agriculture

Meatco recently held a farmers' liaison meeting in Rundu which focused on building relationships with farmers through engagements.

The meeting, which focused on 'How Meatco can help the farmer', also aimed to establish viable means to support farmers during the prevailing drought, in order to ensure that Meatco secures cattle throughput from producers in both Kavango regions for the sustainability of the business.

Meatco acting CEO, Jannie Breytenbach shared a review of the company's operations in 2018.

According to the slaughter statistics for 2018, Meatco only slaughtered 18% of the country's cattle, while live exports to South Africa stood at 70%.

Meatco's Mobile Slaughter Unit (MSU) procured 1 521 cattle last year with another 57 head sold to neighbouring Angola.

Breytenbach also shared the company's turnaround strategy of realigning the business to the current cattle numbers, in order to ensure sustainability and increase competitiveness, while also realigning the business for the future.

Meatco Foundation executive Kingsley Kwenani informed the farmers of the planned rezoning of the red line to extend the foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease-free zone.

This move will clear the Kavango area of FMD, Kwenani said.

According to him this will enable small-scale commercial farmers in the surroundings areas to access lucrative markets, while those on the other side of the new demarcated fence could start commodity trade.

“It is important to understand that we have quite a number of lucrative markets, and once this rezoning takes place, farmers in the area can also realise maximum returns through the foreign niche markets Meatco exports to.”

Meatco executive for marketing and sales, Isaac Nathinge, did a presentation on the current situation in the Northern Communal Area (NCA).

He tackled topics such as market constraints, on-the-hoof price calculations and the throughput/slaughter plan for 2019.

He highlighted MeatMA's role in the NCA through which value-addition is attained under the government's 'Growth at Home' strategy.

He urged the farmers to be ambassadors of the MeatMa outlet situated at Bonanza in Oshakati.

Nathinge further shared new opportunities for the NCA farmers, specifically through the new directive from the finance ministry, which requires that national requirements for meat, fresh produce, cereal and flour are sourced from suppliers in the NCA.

The new directive discourages the procurement of meat, fresh produce, cereal and flour south of the veterinary cordon fence, unless supply is not sufficient to satisfy the demand.

STAFF REPORTER

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