Meatco targets Rundu Abbatoir

By Hilary Mare

HAVING exited the Northern Communal Area (NCA) livestock market with the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs following the outbreak of FMD in 2014, Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) is looking to return to the market via the Rundu abbatoir, Confidente understands.

This is subsequent to a study commissioned by the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) that investigated the marketing systems for livestock and livestock products in the NCA, in order to understand production, processing and marketing systems and the decisions that the role players make within these systems.

Ultimately, the study advocates for market access of livestock and livestock products originating from the NCA in the domestic, regional and international markets through a commodity-based trade approach.

According to Meatco’s Executive: Marketing and Sales, Isaac Nathinge, the Corporation is looking to regain its lost market share if it returns to the region.

“Meatco intends to operate the Rundu Abattoir under a lease agreement with MAWF. Therefore, we would like the Rundu Abattoir to be linked to a feedlot supported by the green scheme programme to promote marketing of younger animals and improve the quality of older animals. Ultimately, Meatco would like to regain its market share that we lost during the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs following the outbreak of FMD in 2014,” he said in an Article on the Corporations website.

NNFU held a workshop aimed at building consensus on the transformation of the farming activities expected to take place in the NCA on 22-23 July 2019 in Otjiwarongo.

Meatco, a strategic stakeholder in the creation of a sustainable NCA market, as part of its national mandate to serve the interest of farmers and stabilise the meat industry in the national interest, attended the workshop hosted under the theme “The Development of the NCA Livestock Sector Transformation.”

The workshop, which additionally aimed to create a value-chain from “farm-to-fork” in the NCA, established that there are limited marketing opportunities supporting farmers in that area. On that basis, the industry deemed it important to start streamlining and transforming that market to deliver in order to benefit farmers who are disadvantaged due to the animal health status of the NCA, namely the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) protection zone above the Veterinary Cordon Fence.

“From a Meatco perspective as part of our task by the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry (MAWF) to develop a strategy for the NCA, this was an opportunity for us to ensure that the critical aspects of the strategy were incorporated in the outcome of the workshop. Meatco believes it has the most suitable model for what the NNFU is striving to achieve, which is creating a livestock value-chain in the NCA,” Nathinge further stated.

In April, daily newspaper, New Era reported that livestock farmers in the Kavango East Region are ready and waiting for the completion of the N0 million Rundu abattoir which is currently in the final stages of being done.

The abattoir, which is being constructed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, was anticipated to have been completed two years ago, in January 2017, but work was delayed due to mainly financial constraints of the agriculture ministry. However, once completed it will serve as a market for livestock, mainly cattle, of farmers in Kavango East and those from outside who can reach the facility.

Currently farmers in the region only sell their livestock to the Meatco mobile abattoir stationed at Matumbo Ribebe quarantine camp, some kilometres south of Rundu.