AMINUIS: Aminuis Constituency Councillor Erwin Uanguta has thrown his weight behind a proposal by a working group including Meatco and farmers unions to place the ownership of the meat corporation in the hands of farmers.
Uanguta is proposing that Government’s role in the new set-up should only be that of an overseer.
Speaking during the official opening ceremony of the Omaheke/Otjozondjupa Inter-regional Agricultural and Industrial show on Saturday, Uanguta said farmers have the know-how and capability to run the institution on sound business principals.
“I propose without ambiguity that the ownership of Meatco be placed in the hands of farmers, and Government should act as supervisor for a trial period of five years. If the way farmers run the entity is not satisfactory, then other measures can be taken, but I am confident that their management of Meatco will take the institution to greater heights,” he said.
It is widely speculated that stakeholders in the livestock industry, represented by the Meatco Working Group, have not accepted the decision made by Government on the future ownership of the company in which it will get a 30 per cent golden share.
A working group, comprising of Meatco and its producers, as well as the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers’ Union (NECFU) and the Namibia National Farmers’ Union (NNFU) have proposed the setting up of a co-operative, wholly-owned by participating Namibian livestock producers, as the holding entity and a public company as operating and trading company.
Cabinet, on the other hand, decided that Meatco will be divided into a co-operative fully owned by the farmers and a trading company whose ownership will be 70 per cent co-operative and 30 per cent Government-owned.
The main difference between the ministry and the working group’s proposal therefore lies in Government involvement.
The majority of farmers in the Omaheke Region also appear to support the working group’s proposal, as they argue that Government’s involvement will place them at an advantage as far as reaping the highest possible returns for the livestock is concerned.
Turning his attention to farmers, Uanguta said it was high time farmers in the area diversify their activities to include crop production as an active part of their farming activities.
He said the capacity of the underground water at Aminuis provides a feasible opportunity for such a mode of farming, and encouraged farmers to venture into planting lucerne, corn and other products.
The constituency councillor said crop production will save farmers both time and money in that they would not have to go beyond their farming borders to acquire such products for their livestock.
The first-ever inter-regional show was held from 21 to 23 September 2012.