WINDHOEK - The legislation governing the Meat Board of Namibia and Meatco should be reviewed to do away with overlaps and clarify roles in relation to industry regulatory, promotion and trading functions.
This is recommended in a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on marketing systems for livestock and livestock products in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) of Namibia, officially launched last week in Windhoek.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry should also consider the viability of its collective abattoir and meat processing facilities and propose a masterplan for the way ahead considering also the facilities proposed for Bukalo (essential for Zambezi Region) and Opuwo (essential for Kunene Region).
“Recognising the advantages of vertically integrated abattoir and meat processing enterprises, the meat processing facilities at Ongwediva, Rundu and in future Bukalo should be offered to experienced operators willing to work in joint venture arrangements with abattoir operators. This may require a negotiated approach rather than tendering or public-private partnership arrangements,” recommended the IPPR report.
The report observed that the abattoir operators appointed so far lack experience of the industry and lack operating capital. They require direct and coordinated assistance from the agriculture ministry and other institutions, which should be managed in the form of a programme.
It furthers stated that the agriculture ministry needs to ensure that the abattoir management operations can be duly undertaken by the new operators. There are several activities especially in supply chain management where joint activities may be beneficial.
The same reports suggested that the mandated governmental institutions need to support the new operators to develop both domestic and International markets for NCA meat products.
“Policies, institutions and legal provisions are in place but implementation needs coordination and coherent implementation,” it says.
The IPPR report indicated that stakeholders, including the ministry of agriculture, ministry of health, Meat Board of Namibia, Agribank and regional and town councils should come together to develop a strategy or plan to upgrade (but not formalise) NCA meat markets.
“Financial support is needed by local authorities to develop improved slaughtering and livestock and meat selling infrastructure. Regulations governing livestock slaughtering and meat sales should be implemented in settlements, villages and towns,” it says.
It further recommended that the ministry of health and local authority health inspectors should provide training to traders in meat hygiene.