NNFU Board shall not allow Meatco going down the drain

Staff Writer

As the only marketing agency for the livestock of especially communal farmers, the NNFU shall not allow the Meat Corporation of Namibia, Meatco, the semi-government meat marketing company to go down the drain.

Says the Acting President of the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), Amon Mutjiwee Kapi, on behalf of the Board. The Board this morning addressed the media on pertinent issues of concern to it regarding Meatco. Foremots among them Meatco’s sidelining of communal farmers both South and North of the cordon fence. “Meatco is using the name of communal farmers south and north of the cordon fence when requesting for government guarantees and support but funds are actually used to cover inefficient operations and paying unjustifiably higher prices to commercial farmers,” charges the Board. Claiming a high price differential by Meatco between communal and commercial farmers with the latter getting “very high and incomparable prices” compared to “very low prices” of their communal counterparts, especially those of farmers in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs).

A process which the Board ala the complaints of farmers, which has been going for a long time. With Meatco targeting specific commercial farmers to which it pays high prices for their livestock. “The trend has been going on for long now regarding selective engagement,” laments the Board.

It further complains about lack of consultation by Meatco of farmers south and north the cordon fence casting doubt on its strategy and adding that these farmers are notified of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) shortly.

The Board further claims that Meatco is in the process of cancelling the NCA subsidy, which is the only means by which it serves northern farmers.

“No consultation with farmers but currently doing it secretly. Same Meatco pulled out of the NCA in 2015 leaving northern regions without a market,” claims the NNFU Board.

It goes on that Meatco with the funds provided by the government notwithstanding, has as yet to reach areas like Rundu, Oshakati and Opuwo, having been olny ooperatiing during the last three years in Katima Mulilo. The government has constructed and renovated abattoirs in the NCA, which are supposed to be operating now but to no avail.

It questions the sustainability of the company given “increasing poor management and performance” coupled with increasing debt and continuous bail out by the government.

The Board claims to have attempted this far three times to engage the corporations’ management but to no avail, even its Board which they have tried once without any success.

“We will now engage the supervisory bodies of Meatco, if prove futile, we exhaust all the avenues and means. We will do all what it takes,” bids the Board in a desperate last attempt to presumably safe the corporation that they believe is a sinking ship.

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