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Home / Meatco pays Omega 1 farmers almost N$1m

Meatco pays Omega 1 farmers almost N$1m

2022-12-07  Staff Reporter

Meatco pays Omega 1 farmers almost N$1m

Meatco’s Northern Communal Area (NCA) subsidiary, through the Katima Mulilo Abattoir’s livestock procurement department, held an assembly day for on-hoof purchases at Omega 1 settlement, situated about 289km east of Rundu and 235km west of Katima Mulilo in early October 2022.

All together, N$30 million was spent in the Meatco-NCA, which include Katima Mulilo and Rundu Mobile Slaughter Unit.

This intervention comes against the backdrop of NCA CEO Kingsley Kwenani, who responded to the call from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources regarding the lack of livestock marketing activities for farmers in the Bwabwata National Park. 

Meatco NCA responded to the plea of the farmers who required livestock marketing activities by organising an assembly day in a bid to assist with the issue of a lack of opportunities to sell.

To date, N$983 000 was paid to the farmers for marketing their livestock in that region. This amount was positively reinvested in the settlement, and boosted the local economy. 

According to the Directorate of Veterinary Services’ (DVS) vaccination report of 2021, the Omega 1 settlement has a cattle population of about 2 500. 

The San community predominantly inhabits the settlement. It is in the Foot-and-Mouth-Disease (FMD)-Infected Zone, sharing the same animal health status as the entire Zambezi region. Since the settlement is in an FMD-Infected Zone, livestock movement is restricted to movement within the same zone only. No livestock or meat is allowed to move in or out of Omega 1 and the entire Bwabwata National Park. 

This restriction means limited livestock activities, including livestock sales from the infected zone to other zones. Animal movements are only allowed to export abattoirs after undergoing a compulsory minimum 30-60 days maximum quarantine period as per the Commodity-Based Trade (CBT) Protocol. In the FMD-Infected Zone, DVS conducts three annual FMD vaccinations, which include vaccinating animals in the Omega 1 settlement. The CBT Protocol states that for cattle to qualify for the 30-days quarantine period, they must have been vaccinated twice (FMD vaccinations) in 12 months. Should the cattle have only one health-implicating event within 12 months, the animal is given the second FMD shot on arrival/entrance at the quarantine camp.

Most of the animals procured from Omega 1 had already been vaccinated twice, and a few were vaccinated once. The latter were then given the second FMD dose upon arrival at the quarantine camp. 

The on-hoof purchase exercise at Omega 1 was held in collaboration with DVS, the Meat Board of Namibia (MBN), Mukwe District Farmers’ Association and the Hambukushu Traditional Authority. In total, 149 cattle were purchased from 17 farmers. The smallest number supplied by a single farmer was one, and the maximum supplied by one farmer were 55 cattle.

Meatco NCA will continue buying cattle from this settlement, which will improve livelihoods. 

Apart from the income generated by farmers, a total of N$6 881.44 was generated as a Meat Board levy. 

Raymond Kebale, one of the farmers who participated in the on-hoof purchases at Omega 1, expressed his happiness to Meatco NCA for reaching out to them. 

“We are now aware that our efforts of farming with cattle are worthwhile, and look forward to more sales in the NCA,” he beamed. 

2022-12-07  Staff Reporter

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