Meatco’s abattoirs impacted by a decline in cattle

Martin Endjala

As a result of the raging drought in most regions in Namibia, abattoirs of the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) are currently experiencing a decline in the supply of cattle for processing.

The situation caused Meatco to slaughter only about 36,000 cattle over the past year. This is a significant drop from its normal slaughter capacity of 120,000 per year.

This was revealed by Meatco’s Executive Marketing Sales, Logistics and Compliance Officer, Adrianatus Maseke during a Meatco business connect engagement with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that was held in Windhoek.

Maseke said that the decline in cattle slaughter in most of its abattoirs is due to drought which has negatively affected both communal farmers and commercial farmers who are currently unable to sell their cattle to Meatco in large quantities.

This has led to the closure of one of the abattoirs in Okahandja, which caters for farming areas south of the veterinary cordon fence.

The state-owned corporation’s Windhoek abattoir is currently the only operational one in the central region.

The recently opened abattoirs in Rundu and Katima Mulilo cater for farmers north of the veterinary cordon fence.

“The closure is due to a decline in throughput. The abattoirs can slaughter about 200,000 cattle. Last year we slaughtered 60 000 cattle in total, which is about 30 percent of our capacity.

We have been through a difficult time and the drought has played a major role, this year we expect to slaughter 100,000 cattle, and we are going to assist farmers during the drought. Our mandate is to keep farmers on their farms,” said Maseke.

He also said that Meatcos’s job is to get the best prices for the farmers and to pay them good money for them to remain competitive in a very demanding market.

During normal production, Meatco abattoirs slaughtered 11,000 cattle per month, which means that on a daily basis, an estimated 500 cattle are slaughtered.

Maseke added that the decline has negatively impacted Meatco’s production volumes, however, the company said it remains committed to flying the Namibian flag high in various markets, both locally and internationally.

Despite the production decline of the abattoir, Maseke revealed that Meatco made N$1.4 billion in revenue during the year under review which is a significant increase if compared to the previous financial year’s revenue of N$800 million.

Currently, Meatco exports 70 percent of its production. The remaining 30 percent is sold locally.

Maseke said that this is due to the demands of markets in countries such as Norway, the European Union, Asia, the United States of America, South Africa and other African countries.

He stressed that revenue generated from exports is ploughed back into the economy of the country, a deliberate move by the company, to ensure that it does not compete with the local markets, to secure job creation for the market.

Related Posts