Livestock production is a very important component of any developing country’s agricultural economy with its contribution going beyond simple food production.
This contribution also encompasses the use of hides, fibre and fertiliser as well as capital accumulation, says Meatco corporate communication officer Jethro Kwenani. Kwenani adds that as a meat processing and marketing entity, Meatco serves niche markets locally and internationally with premium quality products that are traceable from the farm to the fork.
“At Meatco, membership of the corporation is restricted to Namibian livestock producers who sell at least one unit of livestock to the company once every two years. Meatco believes it is in the best interest of a sustainable cattle industry that producers receive the highest possible price for their cattle,” Kwenani notes.
Earlier this year at the Meatco Producer of the Year awards, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa said the livestock and meat industry plays an essential role in the local agricultural sector in terms of job creation, food security and foreign exchange revenue.
“Meatco and the livestock industry have the potential to develop further through better integrated production, processing, distribution and marketing processes. As a subsector, the livestock industry is of critical importance, contributing an estimated 4% to the country’s GDP through an export-orientated production base,” he said.
The minister went on to applaud Meatco for recognising producers who continue to put Namibia on the map as one of the world’s most renowned premium beef producers. In striving to deliver the most sought-after meat brands in selected markets in the long term interest of its members, Meatco tries to ensure that all stakeholders are informed and acquainted with the corporation’s business. Meatco has 14 channels through which information is sent internally and externally. These communication channels are updated weekly, bi-weekly and monthly.
Therefore producers and other stakeholders are urged to submit or update their contact information at their nearest Meatco procurement office. Producers are also requested to take part in the surveys that are sent out by Meatco, as the information it receives from these surveys allows it to improve its communication channels with its valued producers.
To interact with farmers, Meatco regularly hosts Farmer Liaison Meetings and attends farmer’s associations’ meetings to take note of producers’ needs and concerns, and to address them through the correct and relevant channels. Essentially Meatco needs producers just as much as the producers need Meatco. Farmers need a way to market and Meatco cannot conduct business if the slaughter line is empty. It is a win-win situation for both parties to work closely together to cut costs and to optimise value.