The Black Business Leadership Network of Namibia (BBLNN) is calling for an investigation into the establishment of a privately owned business that was formed to develop and invest in a new beef export processing facility in Namibia.
BBLNN’s Chairperson, Elipfas Simon, says government needs to investigate the the agenda and the reason for the establishment of Savanna Beef Processors by white farmers.
“We are a capitalist state andSavanna has every right to practice business in Namibia and there is not much one can do. But there is definitely a caution (sic) as to what will be Savanna’s business activitiesand how much damage it can cause to the current beef marke,” Simon says.
Adding that the new beef processing entity is not going to develop Namibia, but rather develop their own agenda as it is privately owned, requires proper scrutiny so that “it does not cause issues in terms of government agenda and prospective markets. I also think it’s an issue that needs to be properly investigated by all stakeholders involved,” Simon emphasized.
Meanwhile, BBLNN President, Irene Simeon-Kurtz, last week said it does not support the imminent threat of closure of the Meat Corporation of Namibia, Meatco, in favour of previously advantaged farmers. “What is happening at Meatco is a growing crisis of legitimacy. Whether the private sector is socially responsible, are they really growing this economy? Thereby equitably sharing the benefits of economic growth and development,” she asked.
BBLNN was formed by a group of previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs from different business sectors.
Adding that it is immature of “this new beef entity” to brag that they single-handedly established a new entity without the involvement of government is very revealing. BBLNN is further asking for the government’s intervention in the matter, to start driving production at Meatco.
Savanna Beef Processors is said to start construction of its new export beef-processing facility in May. The project, which is being initiated by the Beef Value Chain Forum (BVCF), seeks to ensure a prosperous future for the Namibian beef industry through profitable exports.
The new facility is expected to retain 50,000 weaners for slaughter cattle production.
Meactco is currently the biggest exporter of beef in the country, exporting beef to the European Union (EU), as well as the United States of America, China.
Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Minister, Calle Schlettwein, in February attributed the establishment of Savanna Beef Processors’ plans to Meatco’s poor performance and its inability to provide a profitable market for local farmers.