New feedlot for Gobabis

WINDHOEK: Farmers in the Omaheke Region will soon benefit from a new feedlot with a processing facility for arriving and departing cattle; a feed mixing and storage facility; as well as an additional feed dispenser.

The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) announced in a media statement the latest business development for farmers in Gobabis and surrounding areas namely Eiseb, Epukiro, Otjinene and Rietfontein on Monday.

“With concerns raised by community members, stakeholders and neighbors of the feedlot, Meatco has been undergoing assessments and is following all legal requirements to get the go-ahead for the feedlot. One of the considerations is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), where the public was given the opportunity to raise their concerns, or to speak in support of the feedlot,” it stressed.

The feedlot will operate from farm Annasruh, which is located about four kilometers north of Gobabis. The feedlot will start off with 26 pens that will expand to 52 in future and 11 200 animals with about 3 200 standing. These animals will be rotated 3.5 times a year. This will gradually increase to around 12 000 standing cattle over a period of three to five years. The project has the ability to provide 30 000 cattle a year, according to the statement.

Special Advisor to the Governor of the Omaheke Region, Pijoo Nganate was quoted as saying that cattle on-the-hoof in the area are usually exported to South Africa, but farmers do not reap the benefits of these transactions.

“It will be great to have a feedlot for both communal and commercial farmers in our region. As much as we have to consider the concerns raised by the community and stakeholders, I believe that with proper communication and due consideration, it will be a positive investment in our region,” Nganate said.

A farmer in the area Elia Kavari was quoted as saying that he is excited about the venture. “Gobabis produces a lot of cattle but with no feedlot in the area, we end up selling our cattle to other countries since access is easier. But now, thanks to this development, we can sell our animals to Meatco,” stressed Kavari.

Meanwhile, Meat Board General Manager Paul Strydom said the feedlot will not only be of benefit to Meatco, but will be to the advantage of the economy, since more cattle will be slaughtered, which will increase products for local markets.

“At the same time the community will benefit from employment opportunities, which is also in line with the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development’s (MITSD) Growth at Home strategy,” he added.