WINDHOEK - Namibia’s pork industry is exploring all avenues to erect a third pig abattoir in the central areas to bolster local production which has experienced a 14.8 per cent decline in the first six months of this year.
The Pig Producers Association (PPA) says the lack of such an abattoir is hampering the development of the industry which stands on the threshold of a new era as demand for pork rapidly grows worldwide.
The annual general meeting of the PPA took place recently in Windhoek under the chairmanship of Gideon Goosen.
The major challenge is the absence of an abattoir that is centrally located in Namibia and which has export accreditation. Current statistics show that 55 per cent of pork consumption is produced locally. However, it is a concern that no new commercial producers have entered the market in the last few years.
Production costs of a pig farm in Namibia are quite high and therefore Namibian products can’t compete on the shelves with imported products. To protect the industry, the Pork Promotion Scheme was announced in October 2012 and is administered by the Meat Board of Namibia. This means that suppliers in Namibia must first purchase a certain number of local pork before importing. Due to seasonal market trends, the scheme is managed with a 1: 2 import quota between February and September and 1: 3 from October to January.
Anyone who participates in the scheme must be registered with the Meat Board with a producer number and is subject to all the terms and conditions of the scheme. Processed products are not part of the scheme. The reason is that the pig industry in Namibia is quite small and a shortage in the market must be prevented on certain products. Desmond Cloete, chief marketing officer of the Meat Board, strongly encouraged producers to register.
The Members’ Meeting was followed by a briefing and Rickus Stone of Wisium as well as Dr Nadia de Beer, a C4 veterinarian, shared very thorough information on the feeding of gilts, animal disease control and biosecurity as well as the general management of a pig farm.
The PPA would like to invite any new producers, even though their business is very small, to contact the secretariat of the PPA at the NAU office to become a member of the association to receive the necessary assistance and support.
A total of 23,818 pigs were marketed through various formal channels in the first half of 2019, translating to a 19.92 per cent increase in comparison to the same period in 2018 when 19,862 pigs were marketed.
The average Namibian pork ceiling price for the first half of 2019 stood at N$32.38/ kg, down by 3.92 per cent from N$33.70 observed during the same period in 2018.
During this period, a total of 3,481 tonnes of pork were consumed by the Namibian market of which 2,025 tonnes were sourced locally as compared to the 1,456 tons imported from other countries.
The Meat Board’s statistics show that last year the ratio was 41 per cent imported and 59 per cent produced locally, while 45 per cent was imported in 2019 and 55 per cent produced locally.
The value of trade in pig products around the world runs into billions of dollars every year but Africa enjoys less than five per cent of this action. China, with a fifth of the world’s population, is both the largest producer and net importer of pig products on the planet, says Dr Albert Schutte of the Pig Improvement Company (PIC), who regularly visits Namibia to explain the potential of pig production.
He says pig farming could play a huge role in feeding the world on a long-term approach.
Pigs are the best and most efficient animals for converting kitchen wastes, garbage, leftover food and other non-conventional feedstuffs into meat.