Oversupply of livestock drops meat prices

09 Apr 2015 11:50am
WINDHOEK, 09 APR (NAMPA) – An oversupply of livestock in the market has auction pens in most of the country filled to a level beyond buyers’ capacities, which has lead to a decrease in the prices of cattle.
The latest report on crop prospects, food security and the drought situation issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry dated 15 March 2015, revealed that the marketing of livestock is said to be progressing well in most of the south and central parts of the country but farmers are reportedly unhappy about the lower prices offered to them.
“For example, during the month of February in the Khomas Region, the average cattle price has dropped from N.dollars 16 to N.dollars 11 per kilogramme. In the Omaheke Region, most farmers are reported to have begun selling some of their livestock as a matter of urgency. This has resulted in an oversupply in the market, with auction pens in most of the region filled to a level beyond buyers’ capacities,” it noted.
This has resulted in a drop of market prices, with livestock prices per kilogramme in commercial areas decreasing from N.dollars 18 to N.dollars 21 to between N.dollars 14 and N.dollars 16 for steers and weaners.
For communal areas, the highest price per kilogramme was N.dollars 16.50, which has dropped to N.dollars 14.50.
Due to poor grazing conditions, especially in the commercial areas, farmers have noted the possibility of a serious drought this year and have since been selling some of their livestock. This was to relieve the weakening grazing from pressure.
In the northern regions, the marketing of livestock is also taking place but is said to be at a normal pace since most farmers in these areas are hesitant to react proactively, especially in the event of an eminent drought, according to the report.
Meanwhile, in the Zambezi Region, grazing is reported to have improved significantly following some good rainfall. As a result, pasture conditions were reported to range between ‘good’ in the flood plain areas to ‘very good’ elsewhere in the region.
The Zambezi Region, however, in December last year reported cases of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the Linyanti constituency after similar cases were reported during August. According to the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) in the region, control measures such as the restriction of livestock movements and slaughter, vaccination and revaccination campaigns remain enforced, while the Meatco abattoir continues to be closed since August. At the time of the assessment, the situation is said to have stabilised and livestock is said to be in a good condition.
Ticks infestations and Dermatophilosis, as well as internal parasites were also reported in the region. Affected farmers were advised by the local veterinary office to buy appropriate medications and treat their livestock accordingly.
With regard to livestock’s health in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions, cases of FMD were reported at Mutjiku village in the Mukwe constituency during December last year. The DVS in the regions has put measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease.
Furthermore, suspected cases of Lung sickness (Contagious Bovine Pleouro Pneumonia) were reported in Makandu, Kanyumara and Shankara villages in Ndiyona constituency. According to the DVS in the regions, blood samples were taken from cattle with clinical symptoms of the disease and were sent to the laboratory for analysis with results currently pending. The region also reported cases of Botulism and Black Quarter or Blackleg disease, as well as internal parasites especially in small livestock. Pasture was reported to have improved significantly, following some good showers received and was rated between ‘very good’ in the inland and ‘good’ in areas along the Kavango River.