N$6m for drought relief

23 September 2019 | Disasters

The Meat Board of Namibia has donated N$6 million towards drought relief efforts in the country.

The money will be used to assist with the marketing of at least 45 000 livestock.

Meat Board chairperson Patricia Gurubes said the donation to the national disaster risk fund was approved at a recent board meeting.

It is aimed at relieving some of the impact of the drought on livestock producers.

Gurubes said the donation would be used to market about 7 500 cattle (N$400 each) and 37 500 small stock (N$80 each).

Agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb sanctioned the donation, in accordance with the Meat Board's mandate as provided for in the Meat Industry Act of 1981.

Their mandate is the promotion of the interests of the local meat industry both inside and outside Namibia.

The funds will thus be used for the payment of livestock marketing incentives, which is one of the drought mitigating measures approved by cabinet, Gurubes said.

She added that the role and function of the Meat Board is to promote a conducive environment for sustainable production, market growth and the diversification of livestock, meat and meat products.

In line with this mandate, the Meat Board recently assisted the Directorate of Veterinary Services financially to maintain export markets and draft protocols for the movement of beef from north of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) to the south of the country.

She said this is an important step in terms of developing the local market for beef produced from north of the VCF.

The Meat Board also assists with repairing the VCF and the Namibia/Botswana border fence.

It also assisting the agriculture ministry with the recommissioning of the Katima Mulilo export abattoir.

The Meat Board also extended its appreciation to cabinet for suspending the sheep marketing scheme for one year and for “embracing, together with the industry, the opportunity provided” to come forward with solutions to maximally add value to the industry.

Roads Authority (RA) contractors also donated a total of N$665 000 towards drought relief efforts last week.

President Hage Geingob declared a drought state of emergency in May.

Geingob requested all government offices, ministries and agencies to render assistance to address the plight of the affected farmers.



ELLANIE SMIT

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