Farmers Concerned About Export Crisis

Farmers in the Otjinene constituency, like in all other farming communities counrywide have raised their concerns about the effect of the new rules imposed by South Africa on the import of live animals to that country.

The farmers expressed their concerns during a visit by Meatco to all producers’ areas about the impact the export regulatiuons have on the communal areas, as well as on all auctions and permit days in these areas that have been cancelled. Farmers are concerned because as of May 1, South Africa does not allow any live exports from Namibia and this has been their main market for weaners. Therefore, because of this decision, no marketing currently takes place in communal areas. Farmers are asking if there is something that Meatco can do regarding this matter so that farmers are not unable to sell anything. Based on this, an emergency meeting with Meatco’s executives was held last week to address this problem. Meatco will communicate the decisions taken at this meeting in due course.

The Chief Executive Officer of Meatco, Aocate Vekuii Rukoro, and the Executive for Policy Innovation, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Affairs, Vehaka Tjimune, travelled to Otjinene where they addressed communal farmers from the area, providing them with information. This visit forms part of the 16 dedicated meetings Meatco have scheduled this year in line with its new strategy to increase focused talks with communal farmers about issues that concern them. Through these meetings, Meatco wants to ensure that all the farmers’ needs are catered for with regards to sharing information and promoting understanding of its business.

During one of the meetings, farmers wanted to know what the possibility is that the industry can aance loans on a similar basis for reproductive animals (female animals). Tjimune says this question reflects that there is a need, but that this is an issue that should be addressed by other stakeholders in the industry.

The Meatco ownership issue was also raised and Rukoro explained that a resolution was taken to grant government 30% of the business, based on certain terms and conditions. Meatco communicated with government in writing, saying they can have 30% of the company provided they pay for the shares and remain a minority shareholder. This 30% will also not give government any veto right on board level and management decisions but they may have a representative on the board.

Regarding Meatco’s view on live exports to Angola, Tjimune explained that this may come back to haunt the livestock industry in the long run as Namibia is now giving Angola the ability to start producing her own meat, which may lead to that country not importing meat from Namibia any longer.

Source : New Era