WINDHOEK - Struggling sheep producers in the South are over the moon about the news that Farmers Meat Market (FMM) in Mariental has just regained export status for carcasses to South Africa as from August 9.
Brukarros Meat Processors (BMP) in Keetmanshoop stopped slaughtering due to various reasons. Farmers Meat Market is able to slaughter up to 1 000 sheep per day. With this exciting news, the South African Griekwaland West Corporative’s slaughtering contract has been moved to Farmers Meat Market. Chief Operating Officer of the Hartlief group to whom the Mariental abattoir belongs, Jacques Bruys, says producers in the south have received the news with much joy and excitement. “For now, we have enough staff to handle up to 1 000 sheep per day, but more job opportunities could arise and will be determined by growth,” he notes.
FMM stopped slaughtering for the export market in September 2017 but still slaughtered sheep for the local market. The decision by the Hartlief group to re-open the Mariental abattoir for export slaughtering meant that they had to re-apply for export status with the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS).
Dr Milton Maseke, chief veterinarian at DVS, says an audit was done at the end of July at the Mariental abattoir and it was given the green light. This meant that the abattoir was ready to resume slaughtering of carcasses for exports by August 9. Producers bemoaned Brukarros closing its doors for export slaughtering due to financial strain, but expressed great joy over the re-opening of the FMM abattoir.
This situation has unfortunately done nothing to improve the much debated situation of producers as far as the government’s quota system is concerned. The Livestock Producers Organisation’s (LPO) has expressed its utmost dissatisfaction regarding the impact of the Small Stock Marketing Scheme on the entire economy. Deputy agriculture minister Anna Shiweda recently promised in the National Assembly that government would assess the viability of the sheep exporting scheme to mitigate losses.
2018-08-28 15:08:10 4 months ago