Meatco introduces night classes

04 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

Meatco last week introduced night classes for livestock farmers in Windhoek as part of the extension services it offers to producers.

Speaking at the launch, Agribank CEO Sakaria Nghikembua said there is a need for developing partnerships between farmers and institutions, both public and private.

Nghikembua said if such partnerships are effectively implemented, it can create synergies and deliver combined value that is greater than the sum of the individuals’ efforts.

He said the agriculture sector faces unique challenges and opportunities that, if accurately exploited, can lead to securing of livelihoods, fuelling economic growth and fostering human development.

Nghikembua highlighted the fact that Namibia’s production levels are not optimal, despite the country having the needed resources such as the people, land, water, markets and funding.

This, according to him, leads to a consumption gap resulting in the country importing too much food from other countries, most notably from South Africa.

Productivity

Nghikembua advised producers to move beyond subsistence.

“We need to contribute to the prosperity of our country, and we need skills to make this happen. We need to put money and time into skilling, upskilling and re-skilling our producers. They need practical, real-life skills to up their game”, Nghikembua said.

Agribank spends over N$8 million annually to support the training of farmers.

Meatco’s Livestock Production and Value Addition department has adopted a market-driven livestock production system, where it will help farmers develop livestock production systems that are in-line with market demands.

One of the major changes was to introduce night classes and a producers’ forum where farmers will be offered extension services, advising and teaching them to align the quality of animals with their livestock production systems.

Meatco says this multi-disciplinary approach, through workshops, mentoring and advisory services by collaborating with key players in the agriculture industry, will enable Namibian farmers to revive the livestock sector. The sector is recovering after the devastating 2019 drought, and as such concerted efforts are required.

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