By Hilary Mare
NAMIBIAN producers earned an amount of N$3.4 billion from the sale of cattle during 2017, which is 45 percent of the total agricultural income for the year. This has increased drastically from N$2 billion in 2016, finding by the Namibia Agricultural Union reveal.
In its weekly report released recently, the Union affirmed owing to this rise, it is critical for the Namibian economy that this industry is healthy and sustainable.
“The vision of the Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) is that all three markets which are currently served, namely the EU export market, the local market for beef as well as the export market of live cattle mainly to South Africa is of vital importance to ensure a fair price for producers,” said the Union.
Meatco has also reported recently paid a total of N$1.9 million for the N$2.50 contract premiums to 84 producers who qualified for the fourth Delivery Agreement period which began from October to December 2017.
Meatco obtained a total of 3041 cattle which qualified for the premium during that period.
“Meatco would like to acknowledge producers for delivering cattle during the fourth period of 2017, which is traditionally an off-season,” Co-ordinator Producer Services, Koos Claassens said last month.
On the other hand, the LPO management recently visited the South African meat industry in order to get a better picture of the value chain, to which Namibian weaners are delivered.
The SA beef industry annually slaughters about 3 million cattle, of which 87 percent is A grade. The cattle are mainly from feedlots which are vertically integrated in the total value chain and deliver a final product to the retailers.
Exports of beef from South Africa in the previous year during the drought was approximately 50 000 ton.
“Due to the stabilisation of the Rand, exports are not competitive anymore and it is expected that exports will decrease in 2018 and that this export meat will have to be absorbed in the SA market. Due to the relative low maize price meat which is produced under intensive circumstances is in the market available at a very competitive price. The ailing economic conditions force consumers to rather buy cheaper chicken and pork to replace beef,” further states the report.
Weaners however are still in high demand due to the reduction of RSA cattle herds and it is expected that the weaner prices will stay competitive for the next 2 years. An oversupply on the local Namibian market due to emergency sales may force prices downwards on the short term.
“The LPO is very concerned about the sustainability of the export market of beef from Namibia and currently tries to make other plans. The LPO management decided to investigate how an optimal processing- and marketing organisation should be which is sustainable on long term and in which producers are directly involved and have a say. The plans are already in progress, but a proper sustainability study must still be done. Members will be informed as soon as more information is available,” concludes the report.
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