Namibia-Angolan border fence too expensive

27 April 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

The erection of a fence on the Namibia-Angolan border as one of the options to improve the marketing of beef products from north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF) was considered too expensive.

The fence was approved by Cabinet in 2015 as a measure to control the spread of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) north of the VCF.

The fence would have controlled the movement of animals and allow for designated veterinary control points where such animals could cross between the countries.

The Meat Board of Namibia last November appointed a veterinarian to evaluate options regarding the marketing of beef north of the VCF. This is to access markets similar to those for beef products south of the red line, the Meat Board said.

“It was concluded that in the short-term, all efforts should focus on the Commodity-Based Trade process, mainly due to the available infrastructure that already exists and the cost of bringing beef export to enhanced yield markets in the short-term.”

In the longer term, the creation of a new FMD- and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), which is a cattle lung disease, free zone within the current FMD protection zone can be considered, the board said.

Vaccination still crucial

“Other options such as the erection of a fence on the Namibia-Angola border, as well as the creation of an FMD- and CBPP-free compartment were considered less practical and too expensive.”

The Meat Board said regardless of which option is followed, the preservation of the integrity of the VCF, the maintenance of quarantine farms and camps north of the VCF and an effective vaccination programme against FMD are still crucial.

Furthermore, the board said Meatco has already utilized 31% of the Norway beef quota allocated to it, while Beefcor has not yet realised any exports.

A total of 1 200 tonnes were allocated to Meatco and 400 tonnes to Beefcor for this year.

“Beef exports to Norway and elsewhere take place in accordance with the Meat Industry Act of 1981, under the auspices of the Meat Board, and the use of the allocated quota is monitored on a regular basis by the Meat Board,” it said.

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