Stakeholders to discuss shortages of livestock next week

07 Feb 2014 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 07 FEB (NAMPA) – Stakeholders in the agriculture industry will meet next week to discuss the shortages of livestock and challenges faced by farmers in the industry.
The Meat Corporation of Namibia’s (Meatco) Manager for Communications and Marketing, Mario Poolman confirmed to Nampa on Friday that such a meeting is indeed scheduled.
“Stakeholders in the industry will meet on Wednesday to discuss the way forward in the industry,” he stated.
Since October last year, Meatco had warned that Namibia’s cattle and slaughter industry will suffer for the next three years due to the shortages of livestock experienced during this ongoing drought.
Meatco’s Regional Procurement Manager, Koos Classens recently expressed concern that farmers do not have enough animals to produce optimally.
He said it could be ascribed to the fact that 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.
Thus, the availability of slaughter cattle in Namibia is at an all-time low, and Meatco expects to slaughter only about 78 000 heads of cattle - the lowest in the corporation’s history, Classens said.
Meatco also warned that cattle which would have been slaughtered this year were exported, to such an extent that there will be very few slaughter-oxen for 2014 and 2015.
The year 2016 will also be a challenge for the industry since many cows which should have calved this year, left the country on the hoof.
When Nampa visited the Katutura Single Quarters in the capital on Friday, raw meat vendors and ‘kapana sellers’ complained about the high prices of meat.
Kapana is barbequed or grilled meat roasted on an open fire - a delicacy for many locals and tourists alike.
Meat vendors nowadays pay up to N.dollars 600 for part of a cow’s leg, rib, brisket or rump.
A vendor for the past six years at the market, Alukeni Hausiku, complained about the high prices of meat, saying his profits are on the decrease.
Another vendor, Thomas Kadhila, expressed similar sentiments, noting that business is not promising due to high meat prices.
“I can only sell my meat at a price which the customer can afford, so I do not make any profit at the end of the day,” he noted sadly.