Odds stacked against producers

There is a need for a paradigm shift by producers within the NCA regarding traditional reasons for livestock farming towards more commercially oriented objectives.

30 August 2019 | Agriculture

About 20 000 plus live cattle and products such as fresh meat are annually traded from south of the Veterinary Cordon Area (VCA) to the Northern Communal Area (NCA).

This is mainly due to the lack of supplies of NCA livestock which meet what is perceived to be beef consumer demand in terms of quality. According to a report on the Study of Marketing in the NCA, to stimulate production and supply of quality NCA beef the agriculture ministry and the Meat Board of Namibia should consider the feasibility and costs and benefits of an NCA meat market share scheme.

Through this traders would need to procure a percentage of their supplies in the NCA before being licensed to procure from south of the VCA.

“Over time it may be expected that the percentage procured in the NCA would increase. At the same time, a campaign to promote consumer demand for NCA meat should be undertaken,” says the report.

The report further says there is a need for a paradigm shift by producers regarding traditional reasons for livestock farming towards more commercially oriented objectives.

“Promoting this transformation should be supported by information and education campaigns focusing on recognizing livestock farming as a business for generating wealth.”

It further notes that sustainable rangeland management requires livestock destocking, preferably through increased sales on an annual basis.

“There is a need for awareness creation towards selling young animals in good condition that has quality meat and not necessarily old animals with poor quality meat, which is less desirable to the consumer market.”

The report stressed that the agriculture ministry should treat the leased state-owned abattoirs and meat processing facilities, which it has in recent years committed about N$250 million of capital expenditure to, as a project. It should therefore appoint a steering committee and management personnel to run it rather than effectively leave it to the operators and the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA), the lease agreement manager.

“The damage done to the livestock sector by the prolonged closure of the NCA abattoirs from 2014 to date should be recognized. Likewise, the risk of future suboptimal performance and closures of the new facilities should be avoided by all means.”

The report says that in the Zambezi Region, the proposed meat processing facility needs to be constructed to offer a viable means of trading meat outside the region, which remains an FMD infected zone due to free-roaming buffalo. This is in line with international standards for FMD virus inactivation by preparing processed meat.

“Alternative commodity-based trade approaches using international standards is too costly and in any case not viable in the event of FMD outbreaks.”

In the Kunene Region, the Opuwo abattoir needs to be rehabilitated and expanded to attract both large and small stock from the region at reasonable transport costs.

The abattoirs in the north-central and two Kavango Regions need to ensure quality cattle supplies by growing and feeding cattle fodder to overcome the challenge of the poor conditions, low carcass mass, low-fat grades and old age at a reasonable slaughter weight of cattle produced in the NCA.

“Poor grazing conditions, especially during the dry season, and the high cost of supplementary feed means that farmers cannot fatten and finish cattle as they do on freehold farms to south of the VCF where rangeland management can be more readily practiced. This results in production value losses and poses supply challenges to the processing components of the value chain.”

The report says following comprehensive feasibility studies, infrastructure for fodder production and quarantine-feedlots should be established by the government at optimally located Green Scheme projects and leased to abattoir and meat processing operators to create vertically integrated enterprises. About 500 ha of irrigated land in selected irrigation schemes should produce enough silage to feed about 20 000 cattle annually.

It said that such state investment is necessary because private investors and banks cannot bear the risk of closure of operations due to FMD outbreaks. Feedlots would grow weaners and young cattle, fatten older cattle according to market demand, and would even out supplies to abattoirs over the seasons.

“Additionally, where land can be secured, the option of 500 ha of dry land cultivated native grass pastures attached to abattoirs where they can feed up to 2 000 lean cattle annually to the desired fatness and weight should be considered.


Similar News


Tough road ahead

1 day - 22 January 2020 | Agriculture

The disastrous drought in Namibia over the past seven years has forced livestock producers to significantly reduce their herds. They are now faced with cash...

Katima abattoir to start with test slaughtering

1 day - 22 January 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT The Katima Mulilo export abattoir is expected to commence with test slaughtering by the end of February, if repairs...

Oriental fruit flies in Zambezi

1 week ago - 15 January 2020 | Agriculture

Oriental fruit flies have been detected in the Zambezi Region, resulting in strict control measures being implemented on the import of mangoes from Zambia to...

No new timber may be harvested

1 week ago - 15 January 2020 | Agriculture

In an update on the timber operations in the Kavango West, Kavango East and Zambezi regions, the forestry ministry has emphasised that no new timber...

Cabinet defied on Amta procurement

1 week ago - 10 January 2020 | Agriculture

Only the military and police are procuring their consumables through the Agro-Marketing and Trading Agency (Amta) as per a 2014 cabinet directive that sought to...

Dam levels remain low despite good rains

2 weeks ago - 08 January 2020 | Agriculture

Some inflow over past weekThe latest dam bulletin indicates Namibia’s reservoir levels are at 18.2%, less than half of last season’s 41%.ELLANIE SMIT Despite good...

88 000 livestock die in a year

2 weeks ago - 07 January 2020 | Agriculture

Over 88 000 livestock deaths have been recorded from October 2018 to September 2019 as a result of the devastating drought in Namibia. Over 56%...

Silos run empty

2 weeks ago - 07 January 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT Most government silos stood empty by the end of last November, with stock at only 7.33% of the total holding capacity. The Agricultural...

Household food security worsens

2 weeks ago - 06 January 2020 | Agriculture

Household food security is expected to worsen, particularly in rural areas, according to a drought report released by the ministry of agriculture.This is despite the...

Agribank bites back

1 month - 24 December 2019 | Agriculture

Agribank says it is disappointed by what it sees as a scathing attack by the ancestral land commission. The commission recently complained to President...

Latest News

Fishrot bribery ring widens

10 hours ago | Crime

While the main accused in the Fishrot bribery scandal await a hearing date in the Supreme Court to challenge their incarceration, another hanger-on, who allegedly...

Learners sent home over broken...

10 hours ago | Education

The over 1 200 learners at Max Makushe Senior Secondary School in the Kavango East Region have been sent home until further notice because of...

Rich man, poor man

10 hours ago | Opinion

For African citizens, the debates and discussions by the elite in Davos seem like a world away.The World Economic Forum (WEF) hosts an annual meeting...

12.5m in SADC face hunger

10 hours ago | Disasters

The number of food insecure people in southern Africa is projected to peak at 12.5 million through March 2020, an increase of 15% compared to...

Parents fume over costly new...

10 hours ago | Education

Parents say the introduction of good-looking school uniforms does not guarantee an improvement in academic performance, behaviour or attendance.Last week, Namibian Sun caught up with...

A beacon of hope

10 hours ago | Education

The Tsintsabis Combined School's feeding programme has received resounding support from stakeholders since its implementation in 2004, acting principal Christalina Narubes said.During an interview at...

'Pay up Samherji'

10 hours ago | Short News

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani says Icelandic fishing company Samherji should take responsibility for the thousands of Namibian fishermen who lost their jobs...

Former cop appears for internet...

10 hours ago | Crime

The Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court has denied bail to a 30-year-old former policeman who made his first appearance on charges of internet fraud on Tuesday.Ricardo...

Grand Prix series begins

10 hours ago | Sports

The first Athletics Namibia series event of the year is set to take place this Saturday at the Grootfontein Independence Stadium. The 2020 Grand...

Load More