WINDHOEK - The Meat Board of Namibia and the entire meat industry held a FAN Meat Scheme workshop to determine the way ahead last week.
The FAN Meat Scheme has been developed to provide assurance to consumers on behalf of the Namibian meat industry that Namibian meat is healthy, safe, of good quality and traceable from any export slaughterhouse back to the farm. Currently, the FAN Meat Scheme has allowed Namibian meat access to the European market and is also recognised by Woolworths Foods in South Africa. FAN Meat is also used to verify the free range production system for livestock exported to South Africa.
David Houghton, a meat industry expert and similar schemes and originally from the United Kingdom and now from Cape Town, and Marius Brundyn (general manager of Fresher Meat Packers Namibia), were speakers at the workshop. Aspects addressed included a verification process so that everyone in the meat value chain meets the requirements of the scheme, making the scheme more relevant to the farmer and the meat industry, and how the scheme should assist in differentiating the Namibian meat product from the rest. It was agreed that the FAN Meat Scheme is still relevant to the Namibian meat industry, and that all stakeholders have a role to play in making the scheme even better and promoting it globally.
Cecilia Mbavanga’s farm, in Okandjira in the Ovitoto communal are in the Omatako Constituency, is a typical Namibian homestead. Mbavanga practises mixed farming combining livestock (dual-purpose cattle, sheep and goats) and crops. The family has been farming with livestock for 45 years and it is now their primary source of income. The farm has 30 crossbreed cattle – ideally suited to local conditions – comprising 15 adult cows, one bull, 10 calves and four heifers as well as five sheep and 20 goats. This family-run farm relies on communal pasture grazing, in which animals owned by different families graze together.
By meeting the FAN Meat standards, the Mbavangas’ farm has been able to access premium markets, and with an annual income of around N$20,000 (US$1,500), the family considers the enterprise profitable. Following the standards has also helped Mbavanga with record keeping and better management of her herd. The grazing system necessary to meet the standards is low input (the cows feed on pasture) which allows her to keep production costs low and retain higher profits – she has been able to help her four children reach university using income from the farm.
In addition to the sale of meat, the dual-purpose cattle also provide 15 litres of milk daily, which are sold locally for extra income. An additional five litres are used for household consumption, enriching the family’s diet.
2018-09-25 10:10:09 11 months ago