THE Namibian livestock sector is in dire straits because of the devastating drought and needs all the protection it can get to ensure that the industry which exports its produce to a number of markets worldwide does not collapse completely.
In this context the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Alpheus !Naruseb has called on Namibia’s largest commercial meat marketer to deliberate on ways to keep the sector afloat.
Meatco held its 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 21 June 2019, at the Wanderers Sports Club in Windhoek. The Corporation members gathered at the meeting to deliberate issues and strategies that will shape Meatco’s future, and to review its 2017/2018 financial performance.
In his keynote speech read on his behalf by Executive Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Percy Misika, Minister, Alpheus !Naruseb encouraged members to discuss strategic issues that would impact their business in a positive manner.
“I know the Namibian herd is becoming smaller and younger every year with the re-occurring droughts, it is now even more important for you to really ponder your deliberations this morning – how this industry can be sustained amidst the many external factors that the industry is facing,” said Misika”.
Misika highlighted that the farmers need to understand that “the Ministry of Agriculture has embarked upon a Comprehensively Coordinated and Integrated Agricultural Development Programme known as (HACCIADEP).
The programme mode of operation and intent is to serve market access to small and medium scale agricultural producers and agro-processors as a means of stimulating sustainable agricultural production and activity that in turn enhances national and household food security”.
In her report as board chairperson Dr Martha Namundjembo – Tilahun, told the gathering that “we came up with a Five-year Strategic Plan for 2019/2020 until 2023/2024. Through the Annual Report, we will present the company’s financial position and other quantitative information regarding the organisation’s performance and provide an overview on which objectives we were able to achieve from the organisation’s Turnaround strategy that we’ve embarked upon since 2018.
She further called upon the various role players in the sector to appreciate, accept and adjust to the rapidly changing socio-economical, environmental, political, technological, legislative and international competitive landscape within the agricultural sector”.
“The drought has been ongoing for years and it is combined with high temperatures and other challenges. Government has declared a state of emergency”.
Namundjembo-Tilahun reported that the company saw an increase of producer price by 10% for the year under review (2017/2018) from N$37.64 per kg to N$41.36 per kg. It is evident that during these difficult drought times we are striving and continue to pay our producers the best prices we can and we applaud you the farmers for the resilience shown during this time.