WINDHOEK - Given that 60-70 percent of weaners that are marketed come from the communal sector, various strategies were discussed during the annual planning session of the Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) held in Windhoek, on how to improve access to marketing channels for these communal farmers.
Deliberations focused on how to increase domestic production to achieve economic growth and add more value. Mechanisms must be in place to keep weaners inland and it can only happen if the price ratio between weaners and slaughter animals is more favourable. Thus, abattoirs have to pay a competitive price and instead of considering restrictions, rather look at incentives to keep weaners inland.
Discussions also centered on the improvement of the animal health status of the northern communal areas to enable these animals to join the mainstream market south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF).
Communal producers do not have enough access to marketing channels, and this aspect should be addressed by the Meat Board, together with the rest of the industry, including the LPO. It is also necessary to investigate how to improve the quality of weaners in the communal areas. The theme for the recent LPO congress was ways to develop ideas to fuel growth in the agricultural sector. If the primary sector is not growing, no additional jobs can be created to benefit the rural economy. Thus, emphasis is on identifying low pending fruit in livestock, agriculture, wildlife and other sectors that will spur future growth.
The LPO says it is strategically looking at optimal processing and marketing of livestock. The LPO, under the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), says Namibian producers earned N$3,4 billion from cattle sales last year, representing 45 percent of all agricultural earnings. It says local, European and South African export markets should be optimally supplied for livestock production to remain lucrative.
The organisation says if beef prices remain high, due to the current ailing economic conditions, it will force consumers to substitute it with pork and chicken as cheaper alternatives.
The LPO expects prices for weaners to remain competitive for the next two years, but fears that farmers will sell off livestock in the short term counter the effects of poor grazing in some areas.
LPO management is exploring setting up an organisation that can optimally supply the markets, take input from livestock producers and ensure the sustainability of livestock production.
2018-11-20 10:10:49 | 1 years ago