Meat Board Reiterates Its Vision As a Profitable Concern

The Meat Board of Namibia is reiterating its vision to be a nationally and internationally recognised organisation that promotes a profitable, vibrant, Namibian meat industry in local and international markets after getting together with all role players last week in Windhoek.

The occasion was the annual Review of Common Vision of the Meat Board that took place at the Arebbusch Lodge amidst the national crisis regarding livestock exports to South Africa. As part of its mandate, the Meat Board facilitates a process whereby all industry stakeholders can participate in the development of an integrated and joint vision for the Namibian livestock and meat industry. To ensure that, the Meat Board stresses the importance of meat market access, maintenance and diversification and regulatory control of standards, quality assurance and importexport control as well as production, processing and marketing.

The stakeholders of the Meat Board are affiliated farmers associations in the commercial and communal sectors, the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), the Directorate of Veterinary Services, the Abattoir Association of Namibia, the EuropeanSouth African local approved abattoirs, livestock agents, brokers, exporters and traders, the Livestock Auctioneers, Brokers and Traders Association and the Meat Traders and Processors Association as well as the Livestock Producers Forum (LPF), inclusive of emerging farmers.

The Meat Board’s vision includes the aims of Vision 2030 for Namibia to become a prosperous and industrialised country developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability and identifying land and agricultural production as key elements contributing to a sustainable resource base. Statistics from the Meat Board shows that Namibia exported 150 000 weaners and 140 000 slaughter cattle in 2013 to the Republic of South Africa (RSA)’s feedlots and European Union ( EU) export abattoirs on average while 9 400 tonnes of beef was exported to South Africa and 9 500 tonnes to the UK, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

Namibia supplied 60 000 sheep to the South African informal and formal markets as well as 270 000 goats for the ceremonial market in Kwazulu-Natal.

A total of 850 000 lamb carcasses were sold to Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay and Spar in South Africa while 250 tonnes of lamb was exported to Norway.

During discussions, the Meat Board stressed the importance of equitable access to land, declining rates of land degradation, appropriate tenure over natural resources, unpolluted soils and agricultural water run-off as well as optimal land-use and livelihood options and improved economic development options as key factors to achieve the goals of Vision 2030. The Meat Board stressed that agriculture will continue to be a priority focus under the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) as a backbone of the Namibian economy. According to the Meat Board, the livestock farming projected growth per annum for the next two years is 3.5 percent and will be 4 percent by 301617. The meat processing projected growth per annum is 5.3 percent for now and will remain like that up to 201617.

Specific Government initiatives earmarked are:

The continued promotion of the Green Scheme

Initiatives to increase the land’s carrying capacity for livestock

The establishment of agricultural fresh produce markets

The establishment of other agricultural infrastructure such as silos and research stations

Carrying out research on and utilise drought-resistant crops and livestock

Improving access to markets for all livestock above the Veterinary Cordon fence (Red Line).

The discussion and information session was concluded by the Meat Board saying the NDP4 targets are indeed a test for the action plans in this joint venture.

Source : New Era