KEETMANSHOOP – South African Corporation Kalahari Kid wants better cooperation with //Kharas Region’s small livestock farmers to improve the trade in goats between the two countries.
The corporation is a joint initiative between commercial promoters, the Northern Cape Provincial Government and emerging farmers in the Northern Cape dedicated to producing quality goat and lamb products for both local and international markets.
The corporation has through the twinning agreement between the //Kharas Regional Council and the Northern Cape Province extended its business to Namibian small livestock farmers in //Kharas but it has not been a smooth ride so far, according to Judith Weidemann, it’s marketing director.
Speaking to New Era during the regional development coordinating committee meeting at Keetmanshoop on Tuesday, she highlighted some of the hurdles they have to overcome in order to source and buy goats from Namibian farmers.
While her team has to move from one place to another in order to get to the small-scale farmers with goats, farmers further make life difficult and unsafe as they want to be paid in cash and not through electronic transfers, which means they have to walk around with huge amounts of cash, which she said is unsafe, and to top it off, sometimes they do not find the maximum numbers of goats they need as farmers are not well informed, meaning trucks go back to South Africa empty. We have been to Berseba, Vaalgras, Karasburg and here in Keetmanshoop but the coordination of the farmers has not been what we expected. We cannot have a truck that takes 800 goats and we come here and we get only 190, which is what happened,” she said.
Weidemann wishes to see improved relations amongst farmers and the corporation so that the buying and selling of goats can be consistent, adding that she wants to see a coordinated, organised and consolidated process where goats are brought to one area for sale purposes.
“Basically, what we need is a consolidation of the farmers, and we want to not only buy from this region but other regions because we do not get enough so if it’s organised properly on the Namibian side we can buy more,” she said.
She further said the corporation can import 800 to 1,800 goats per month, adding that in the future the corporation looks at opening a small livestock abattoir so that goats are slaughtered in the region for export to international markets.
She also expressed concerns over the export ear tags and certification, saying it is frustrating that these can only be done in Windhoek, and asked why such services cannot be decentralised to the regions to make things much easier for farmers and buyers.
The regional development coordinating committee meeting saw parties from both sides of the //Kharas Regional Council and the Northern Cape gather at Keetmanshoop to discuss matters hindering the implementation of the economic work stream as per the twinning