ROLE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE MEAT BOARD
The role and functions of the Meat Board is aimed at facilitating an optimal environment for sustainable production, growth in markets, and diversification of the livestock, meat and meat products value chain. Several focus areas have been identified, namely market development, regulatory control regarding meat standards, quality assurance and import and export control, investigations and optimisation of value addition in the country, market access, protection of diversification and distribution of production, manufacturing and marketing technology. Currrently the focus is mainly on supporting the Directorate Veterinary services regarding export certification and establishing markets for livestock producers north of the veterinary cordon fence. The Meat Board is also in the process of strengthening the procedures surrounding quality assurance in terms of FAN Meat.
MEAT BOARD CONTRIBUTES TOWARDS THE MINISTRY’S NATIONAL DISASTER FUND
On 18 September 2019 the Meat Board handed over N$6 million to the Prime Minister in support of the ministry’s National Disaster Fund. Namibia, as well as Southern Africa, is in the grip of a disastrous drought, so much so that the State President declared a state of emergency on 6 May 2019. In lieu of the fact that the amount will be made available under the Meat Industry Act, it will specifically be used for livestock marketing incentives. Approximately 7,500 cattle and 37,500 small stock units will be accommodated at the current announced government tariffs of N$400 per large stock unit and N$80 per small stock unit.
MEAT BOARD COMMENCES WITH THE REPAIR OF THE 20˚ VETERINARY CORDON FENCE
The Meat Board is assisting the Directorate Veterinary Services with the repair of a grader and the grading of the corridor between the game proof and cattle proof fences of the Veterinary Cordon fence between Rooidag and the Botswana border fence. The process, which was needed since entrance to the fences was limited due to bush growth, will take place over the next 3 months. A fencing team of the Directorate moves with the grader to repair broken fences. The maintenance of the Veterinary cordon fence and border fences is one of the pillars of animal disease control, as is the protection of the country’s Foot and Mouth disease free zone in conserving the country’s export meat industry.
MEAT BOARD MAKES PRODUCERS AWARE OF FREE-RANGE STATEMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS
The Meat Board is the administrator of the Farm Assured Namibian Meat scheme, FAN Meat. This quality assurance scheme is applied for the marketing of Namibian meat in high value international markets and renders assurance to consumers of Namibian meat that, amongst others, animals are raised under extensive conditions on natural pastures and that supplement feeding contains a maximum concentrate level equal to or less than 1% of the animal’s body mass. Under the current drought conditions, this requirement is difficult to adhere to. Producers are therefore requested to accurately complete the slaughter advice statement at export abattoirs and to declare if their animals do not comply with these “free range” requirements.
MEAT BOARD STATISTICS INDICATE THAT LIVESTOCK MARKETING SHOWS A SLIGHT DECREASE
According to information supplied by the Meat Board for the period January to August 2019, the total marketing of cattle has increased with 11,52% as opposed to the same period in 2018. The amount of cattle slaughtered at local abattoirs during this period, increased with 33,28%, whereas the amount of cattle that was exported increased with 2,17% if compared to the same period in 2018. The average B2-grade producer slaughter price was N$45.68/kg opposed to N$39.65/kg for the same period in 2018. The average weaner price was N$23,4/kg for August 2019 as opposed to N$31,00/kg for August 2108. Total sheep marketing decreased with 11,23% in comparison to the same period 2108. In comparison to August 2018, the amount of sheep that was locally slaughtered during August 2019, decreased with 34,16% after the temporary cessation of the Sheep Marketing Scheme. However, livestock exports increased with 6,60% during the period January to August 2019 as opposed to the same period in 2018. The average A2-grade producer slaughter price for August 2019 was N$59,36/kg as opposed to the N$46,36/kg for August 2018.