Meatco Board chairperson Dr Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun says the corporation continues to make great strides under difficult circumstances. She says although international markets are challenging and producers continue to farm under very difficult circumstances, Meatco continues to strive to pay producers better prices.
Speaking last Friday at Meatco’s 30th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Wanderers Sports Club in Pionierspark, she said this is being achieved amid major challenges, such as drought, policy changes and animal disease, which are hampering the industry.
The AGM, which was for the first time attended by Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa, saw over 150 members – some from as far as the Zambezi, Kunene, Kavango and Ohangwena regions – meet to shape the direction of the company, which has been in existence for more than 30 years.
Mutorwa reported that government was glad to grant permission to Meatco to use Omutambo-Mawe, one of the biggest quarantine camps situated in the Kunene. Meatco will use the quarantine camp to keep cattle when buying animals from farmers to alleviate the challenges of farmers and enable them to market their animals in preparation for the new business model. The exercise will commence soon, as the agriculture ministry (MAWF) only responded two weeks ago to Meatco’s request.
The declining trend in slaughter cattle delivered to Meatco continued in the year under review, with only 116 948 slaughtered compared to 120 000 in the previous year.
Of Meatco’s revenue, 62.35% was paid to producers, according to Meatco’s Annual Report for 2015/2016, which was officially launched at the AGM.
The company’s chief executive officer, Adv. Vekuii Rukoro, thanked the producers and reaffirmed the company’s position to serve the producers wherever they find themselves. Rukoro highlighted that the new mobile slaughter unit will arrive in Namibia within three weeks to enable communal farmers to start marketing their livestock.
Producers were also informed that with the drought prevailing – the Backwards Integration Strategy of expanding Meatco’s feedlot initiatives is progressing well.
Rukoro reported to the producers that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism issued an environmental impact assessment (EIA) certificate to Meatco and the company was thus cleared to operate the newly identified Annesruh feedlot, 15km west of Gobabis.
Former Meatco Board chairperson Reinie Rusch, who served on Meatco’s board for 13 years (from 1988 to 2001), attended the 30th AGM and highlighted that the company should continue to take decisions on amicable consensus and at the end of the day develop a common understanding in order to steer the company in the right direction.
The current Meatco Board’s term ends on October 3 and members were assured by Minister Mutorwa that as the appointing authority he would execute his duties on time.