Helena crush pen starts benefiting farmers

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Communities in the vicinity of the Helena crush pen in the Otjombinde Constituency of the Omaheke region are now able to market their cattle much closer to where they live.

In 2016 Meatco’s social responsibility vehicle, the Meatco Foundation, and its Norwegian partner and client UNIL, completed the construction of the Helena crush pen project at a cost of N$1.86 million, and it has now started yielding results.

Undamuje Hambira, communication officer at Meatco says one farmer benefitting from this project who lives 60 kilometres from Helena expressed appreciation for the investment. Vatira Uanivi, former chairperson of Otjombinde Farmers Association (OTJOFA), recently sold 12 oxen to the Meatco crush pen, destined for one of our biggest clients in Norway.

“The crush pen is an investment that came to the area at the right time because our people are really benefitting from the pens. We are grateful to do business with Norway and for their willingness to invest in our community.

“I hope the Norwegians invest further and will consider constructing an abattoir in the Otjombinde constituency, as meat production is one of our specialities. This will allow us to produce meat up to its final stage, whereas currently we merely sell to Meatco,” Uanivi says.
“The crush pen is also used to host farmers’ days/meetings where issues relating to farming are discussed at a platform easily accessible to all.

“Kapana vendors are also able to sell their food there, which is another way the community benefits from the pens,” Uanivi adds.

The quality of the meat sourced from the animals was well received by UNIL because it conformed to their quality and standards. As a result, UNIL is open to receiving animals from the Otjombinde area.

Because of poor infrastructure, the Helena community in Otjombinde never had auction opportunities in the past. However, this new development allows for both auctions and permit days to be held at secure and reliable pens.

Thanks to the Helena crush pen, potential buyers from Gobabis and other areas do not necessarily have to travel as far as Talismanus for auctions.

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