11 May 2016 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 MAY (NAMPA) Namibia can now export beef to Hong Kong after the Hong Kong Veterinary Authority approved the health certificate for the import of beef from abattoirs in Windhoek and Okahandja.
Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) Chief Veterinary Officer Milton Maseke announced this at a media briefing here on Wednesday.
This is a positive development and this ends our negotiation process with the Hong Kong Veterinary Authority for the export of beef to that country. It is time to start now physically moving products from Namibia to Hong Kong, he said proudly.
The move opened up an alternative market for Namibian beef. Namibia produces about 60 000 metric tons of beef products per annum and exports roughly 20 000 metric tons to South Africa and the European Union (EU).
Namibia and China signed a Protocol on Veterinary Health Conditions and Quarantine two years ago to make way for the exportation of Namibian beef and mutton to mainland China.
However, the issue on exporting mutton is not yet clarified.
The issue of exporting beef to Hong Kong is now in the hands of Meatco to prepare themselves to find a market in Hong Kong and apply for a certificate of import to move the product into Hong Kong, said Maseke.
The entrance of Namibian beef in Hong Kong will happen as soon as Meatco, the largest meat processor in Namibia, get a market on the other side and as soon as it procures the products that comply with the conditions in the health certificate.
Among the health requirements are that all cattle eligible for export should be born and raised in foot-and-mouth-disease free zones where vaccination is not practiced. These animals must also bear a unique identification mark, and should be traced back to the farm of origin.
The export of beef also includes livers and lungs.
The challenge now is on our producers to try to meet the demand in Hong Kong by increasing our production as the demand is expected to be more than what we produce, said Maseke.