12 Aug 2015 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 12 AUG (NAMPA) Namibia is the first African country to export bone-in beef to China.
The two countries signed a protocol on veterinary health conditions an quarantine on 03 August 2015 in Beijing, China. For the purposes of the protocol, beef means the frozen deboned and bone-in meat, excluding head, feet, offal and viscera, and other by-products.
Announcing the deal during a media briefing on Wednesday, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa emphasised that the cattle should be born and reared in the foot-and-mouth (FMD)-free zone of Namibia.
I want to stress that this new China market is open for all Namibians who wish to export beef to China and not for certain companies or individuals only. The government did not negotiate this market for a specific group of people or companies.
Through these efforts, the government shall continue to create the necessary conducive business environment for all local entrepreneurs and business people to take advantage of such opportunities, as long as they agree and conform that the export requirements of China are scrupulously complied with to the letter and spirit of the signed protocol, he stated.
The Chinese market, as opposed to the European Union (EU), Switzerland and Norway markets, will allow for the importation of bone-in beef, provided that the animals are slaughtered and the beef is processed and certified at an export-approved slaughterhouse or abattoir by the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) in the line ministry.
The cattle for export purposes should comply with the following: the farm has not introduced any cloven-hooved animal from the region other than FMD-free zone of Namibia where vaccination is not practiced during the past 12 months; animals shall be resident on the farm for at least 60 days prior to slaughter; animals were vaccinated against Anthrax; animals have never been fed with any materials originating from ruminant, except milk, and never used veterinary medicine and feed additives prohibited by China or Namibia.
This opportunity will allow the countrys producers to send bigger volumes of beef at an expected much lower processing cost into the Chinese market. The Witvlei abattoir, which has been closed since January this year, should be revived, added Mutorwa.
Currently, Namibia exports 17 000 metric tonnes of meat products to South Africa per annum; about 10 000 metric tonnes to the European Union (EU); and about 1 850 to Norwegian markets.