Meatco ploughs back into Kunene

by Deon Schlechter

Meatco ploughs back into Kunene

Windhoek

The Meatco Foundation, Meatco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vehicle recently embarked on a journey to the Kunene Region to demonstrate to the Board of Trustees what the Foundation, along with community members, has contributed over the past three years. While in the region, the Foundation also held a Board of Trustees meeting.

Meatco, its Foundation, the European Union (EU) and Conservation Agriculture Namibia (CAN) are funding and facilitating various initiatives in the region. The groundwork is done by the Zakumuka Livestock Marketing Cooperative and led by Amon Kapi. The cooperative works closely with CAN that provides administrative and technical support.



Rangeland rehydration is a process of attaining the best plant growth from often unpredictable and low rainfall areas that can also result in heavy and damaging storms. This process was implemented through the installation of Gully Head Protection Filters at Otjitunganane, a village 55km from Opuwo. This involves treating the soil and preventing soil erosion.

Inhabitants from the area carry out the treatment by keeping one camp empty of cattle to grow grass by using filters to block water from running into the gullies and instead sink into the soil. Through this process they gain technical knowledge, perceptions are changed by empowering young men in the area and at the same time grazing for their animals is provided.

Another project that is taking centre stage to the benefit of the people in the Kunene is the Conservation Agriculture (CA) innovation. This involves a ripper making furrows of up to 30cm that shatters the hard plough pan for deeper root development.

Uohonjera Kakuva and Kavetiriua Kakuva, two sisters from the Ondjete area, are the beneficiaries of the project that is supported by the cooperative, CAN and the Directorate of Agriculture Production Engineering and Extension Services (DAPEES). The project has been up and running for two years and the yields have been rewarding over this period.

The harvests are used for household purposes and are fed to goats and cattle, depending on how big the yield is.

According to Meatco, these projects are to the benefit of people in the Northern Communal Areas and aim to create productive capacity in these farming communities, so that they can become more commercially competitive.

Due to the low influx of cattle and the current water crisis Namibia is facing, Meatco’s abattoir in Okahandja has been temporarily closed. The abattoir will remain closed until the situation changes or improves. The closure is one of the measures Meatco has taken to maximise returns for its producers. Producers will be notified once operations at the plant resume.

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