Finding a Common Vision for Livestock and Meat Industry

Stakeholders within the Namibian livestock and meat industry are working towards the realisation of a joint industry vision, which seeks to provide sought-after quality products to the most viable markets for the benefit of all Namibians.

Under the auspices of the Meat Board of Namibia, stakeholders include Meatco, Agra, Hartlief, Feedmaster, the Abattoir Association of Namibia and the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), amongst others. In achieving this vision, the industry has identified five plans of action to be implemented:

Improve animal health and welfare as well as food safety

Under this action plan, the aim is to improve and maintain the animal health status and animal welfare in the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free zone. The plan is to do the same for the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs), as well as to improve the hygiene and safety standards of foodanimal origin.

Improve production

Under this action plan, the aim is, amongst others, create a conducive policy and institutional environment to increase production, align production with consumer demands as well as utilise slaughter capacity efficiently.

Value addition

This action plan will focus on the development of the value addition strategy, gaining government approval, and eventually implementing it. Once realised, the plan is to monitor the implementation thereof.

This action plan is aimed at expansion into new premium international markets whilst maintaining existing ones. This plan will also focus on developing and supplying local markets with healthy meat products of a high quality. It will also look at the export of live animals.

Industry consolidation

This action plan will facilitate the effective cooperation between government and the livestock and meat industry, as well as oversee that working relationships between the different industry role players are implemented.

Vehaka Tjimune, Meatco’s Executive for Policy Innovation, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Affairs, says this vision will act as a roadmap for the livestock and meat industry in terms of where the industry as a collective is headed. “We are coming out of an era where many things were driven from a stakeholder interest perspective only, meaning that although we were all part of the meat and livestock industry, we all had our own plans with no common vision for the industry. Now we are working towards one. It is a step in the right direction. This is a negotiated outcome with the participation of all stakeholders in the industry,” he says.

The process started more than two years ago, and it still has a long way to go before the final outcome is realised. What is noteworthy though, is that its efforts are in line with Vision 2030 as well as the country’s national goals.

“This common vision calls upon visionary leadership in the livestock and meat industry that will mobilise resources, and encourage and motivate stakeholders to go the extra mile in terms of implementation,” Tjimune says.

Source : New Era