WINDHOEK: The Livestock Producers’ Organisation (LPO) says the crisis in the meat industry has gotten worse following the Meatco saga, and urgent discussions should be held with Government.
The LPO said in a media statement published on the website of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) on Friday that discussions are crucial to reflect on the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s vision for the total meat industry.
Government announced in June this year that the ownership of the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) be vested in the sui generis cooperative with a majority shareholding of 70 per cent, and the government with a ‘golden share’ of the remaining 30 per cent.
This announcement prompted an outpour of reaction from many stakeholders in the agricultural industry, with feedback sessions organised by the Namibia National Farmers’ Union (NNFU) which took place countrywide since July this year.
During a media conference on 28 June to announce Cabinet’s decision about the future of Meatco, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa did not shed light on Government’s ‘golden share’ of the remaining 30 per cent.
He said at the time that the way forward is the immediate and urgent task of the ministry and other relevant stakeholders to finalise the Namibia Meat Company Bill for the cooperative, and the Namibia Meat Company Limited Bill for the onward processing through appropriate channels.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s beef trade decreased with 28.8 per cent during the first six months of 2012.
The Meat Board of Namibia announced this in its six-month review report issued a week ago, noting that the negative performance was mainly due to a number of weaners exported, and worsened by lower slaughter numbers at export abattoirs.
Various economic factors recently also had an impact on the producer prices.
The decrease in the exports of weaners is mainly attributed to the decline in weaner prices, while the increased cost of production and decreased demand for beef had a major impact on weaner prices.