Northern regions have 400 000 cattle

Chamwe Kaira

The northern regions of the country have an estimated cattle population of 400 000 cattle; Meat Corporation of Namibia statistics in the 2022/2023 annual report have shown.

The statistics further showed that areas south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence have a cattle population of 800 000, giving the country an estimated cattle population of 1.2 million cattle.

Meatco states that cattle produced within the southern regions can be exported to international markets, supporting the Namibian Government’s development aims and policies, while maximising returns to the producers, all while building and maintaining credible premium brand status for Namibian beef. At the same time, beef from the northern regions is exported to several African countries.

The company is the single biggest player in the meat market in terms of approved slaughter capacity with international export certification, enabling livestock producers to access lucrative international markets.

The domestic price for beef is set by Meatco, using South African prices as the benchmark.

Meatco says it is evident that the Namibian producers continue to receive good prices just as their international counterparts in Australia, USA and EU do, although the latter are subsidised by their governments.

The meat producer slaughtered 33,144 cattle (32,127 during 2021/22) in the area South of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (SVCF).

The company sold 11,042 tonnes of beef and generated revenue of N$865 million during the financial year (N$752 million during 2021/22).

Meatco says business model is profitable at an average of 5500 slaughtered cattle per month or 66 000 slaughtered cattle per year, based on the slaughter capacity of the Windhoek Abattoir which is set at 120 000 cattle per annum.

Cattle supply North of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (NVCF) increased to 3717 during the financial year (2021/22: 2,348).

The country’s livestock farming sector is estimated to be worth N$6.3 billion and Meatco contends that Namibia’s livestock farming sector is in dire need of growth.

“Growth starts at farm level, but will only happen when it is profitable to producers. Only conducive policies and a constructive regulatory environment, as well as a common vision for the Namibian red meat industry, will enable substantial growth to take place in the Namibian livestock farming industry.”

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