21 Feb 2014 21:00pm
WINDHOEK, 21 FEB (NAMPA) - The newly appointed Board of Directors of the Meat Board of Namibia will explore all opportunities that exist in the livestock industry to find lasting solutions to the current challenges in the sector.
The chairperson of the Meat Board, Patricia Gurubes told Nampa on the sidelines of a media conference where the new Board members were announced by the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa on Friday that round-table discussions with industry players will be the first priority.
I cannot say we have plans yet, but consulting industry players is our first priority, she noted.
Currently, the livestock industry faces many challenges, amongst others meat shortages, improving animal health north of the veterinary cordon fence (Red Line), new conditions for the certification of livestock exports from Namibia to South Africa, and beef exports to the European Union as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement.
Gurubes expressed concern about the aftermath of the devastating drought that has been crippling the livestock industry since last year.
The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) has warned that Namibias cattle and slaughter industry will suffer for the next three years due to the shortages of livestock experienced during the drought.
Producers were forced to sell much of their livestock last year to avoid running into business losses because of a lack of grazing as a result of the drought.
The availability of slaughter cattle is therefore at an all-time low.
This could have negative consequences on the industry and the economy of the country, she added.
The new Board members of the Meat Board include Issaskar Mate (Deputy Chairperson), Maria Haingura, Magdalena Jesaya, Amon Kapi, Innocent Mahoto, Dr Archibald Norval, Katrina Shiningavamwe, Babette Stock, Cyprianus Khaiseb, Dr Diana van Schalkwyk, and Floris van Niekerk.
Members are appointed for a period of three years.
Meanwhile, at the same occasion, Mutorwa also announced the new Board members of the Namibia Water Corporation (Namwater).
Newly appointed Chair of the NamWater Board, Esther Akwaake said at the briefing that the harvesting of water will be a priority for the newly elected members.
NamWaters new Board members include Pieter de Wet (Deputy Chair), Bonita de Silva, Michael Gawaseb, Barbara Gowaseb, Thaddius Maswahu, Dr Anna Matros-Goreses, Dr Elijah Ngurare, Hilda Jesaja (Association for Local Authorities in Namibia), Gabriel Freyer (alternate), John Muremi (NamWater employee representative), and Moses Shakela (alternate).
The new members are appointed for a period of three years.
Speaking at the event, Mutorwa applauded Namwater Chief Executive Officer Dr Vaino Shivute for taking up his position at the corporation again for the next five years. Shivute joined NamWater in 2004.
The government has put trust in you to guide, advise and steer the activities of the Meat Board and NamWater in the right direction to move the country in such a way as to enhance and successfully realise its socio-political-economic developmental agenda, Mutorwa added.