WINDHOEK - Due to the exceptionally high demand for slaughter allocations at the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco), the corporation has urgently requested producers to submit all booking requests for the months of August, September, and October as this will give Meatco an indication of how much the demand is for slaughter space.
This will then enable Meatco to see how best it can meet and accommodate producers.
This request comes from Meatco after producers’ deadline for an advance booking request for July was last Friday.
Chief of corporate communications at Meatco, Rosa Thobias told Farmers Forum that this will also enable Meatco to make a sound decision whether the corporation needs to consider additional slaughter space.
“And more so, the consideration of re-opening our Okahandja abattoir. Meatco management is in close consultations with Okahandja municipality to explore effluent water and electricity issues. In case there is a need for additional slaughter space,” she revealed.
If Meatco receives all the required advance bookings for the identified months, the received bookings would be revised to avoid possible double bookings that may occur, said Thobias.
“For bookings, producers can contact Meatco’s Livestock Procurement employees either by telephone or e-mail. Producers are to provide their producer number, amount of cattle to be slaughtered and preferred slaughter date when making a booking request,” she added. Senior corporate communications officer, Jethro Kwenani, says the demand for slaughter space is higher than the slaughter capacity of Meatco abattoirs.
He said Meatco abattoirs can only cater for 450 animals per day, but the farmers’ slaughter allocation demand is up to 500 animals per day. Fears are mounting that this figure might climb further as the drought sinks its nails into the industry.
“This is forcing the abattoirs to slaughter on weekends and on public holidays in order to accommodate the farmers’ need for slaughter,” said Kwenani.
He added that farmers are being forced to sell their animals instead of risking losing them to the drought, but the high demand for slaughter is also attributed to the good price per animal that is being offered at Meatco. He said Meatco slaughtered 80 000 animals in 2017, 65 000 last year, and he is expecting the number to rise again this year as more farmers want to bring their animals for slaughter.
Kwenani noted that although Namibia is severely affected by the drought, farmers are doing their best to provide quality animals, and are still supplying them in large numbers.
The LPO stressed that these figures needed to ensure a smooth process are for all farmers south of the corridor fence and not just for members of the Namibia Agricultural Union or Meatco.
If producers have not yet responded to the LPO’s request for figures, the urgent request is that they contact Rina Hough at the NAU office on 061-237838 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org with figures of cattle that need to be slaughtered at Meatco from July to December. In addition, their Meat Board number is required and the district where they farm.
Meatco says that animal quality and quantity vary, considering the drought in areas where they come from, but the average weight of animals being delivered is still fairly good as the animals are in relatively good condition.