Sheep marketing scheme reaches out to drought-stricken farmers

Windhoek-The Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) says sheep producers who are affected by the drought thus rendering too small or too lean sheep may have their livestock exported, as the Sheep Marketing Scheme makes provision for such farmers.

Several areas in the south of Namibia have received below-average rainfall resulting in insufficient grazing and thus delivering either too small or too lean offspring. This includes sheep that weigh less than 36kg and are classified as fat grade (0).

To market sheep under this condition sheep producers must apply to the MBN's Livestock agent. The agent and abattoir representative or a MBN's representative will then certify whether the sheep qualify under the too small or too lean condition are suitable for slaughter. In case of a dispute, the MBN will make use of a carcass classifier to determine whether the sheep comply with the set condition.

Should the abattoir representative not be available, the MBN's representative will certify whether the sheep qualify is too small or too lean and may be exported or not. Similar terms and conditions apply to the export of fat tail sheep.

The MBN, at its latest board meeting, approved an additional condition to the sheep-marketing scheme.

This condition stipulates that: In the case where a producer sells sheep to an abattoir for slaughtering, and the producer does not get paid by that particular abattoir within seven working days for the sheep delivered, that producer will get an additional sheep export quota, equal to or less than the number of sheep delivered to the abattoir.

This additional condition is effective immediately until the upcoming board meeting on August 10, when it will be re-evaluated again. For further inquiries about the measures, contact Goliath Tujendapi or Desmond Cloete (061�275830).

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia