ONGWEDIVA – Omusati Region has expressed its readiness to engage in negotiations to enable the region to export beef to neighbouring Angola, where beef is scarce and more expensive than in Namibia.
Prices for live cattle in the northern regions that fall under the northern communal areas (NCAs) range from N$6,000 to N$20,000 but in Angola a beef carcass fetches more because of scarcity.
“I was approached by certain comrades from Angola who have knocked on our doors for many years seeking exportation of Namibian beef to their markets. We are ready to receive and engage them with the view to export our beef to Angola,” revealed the Governor of Omusati Region, Erginus Endjala.
He made the remarks during his State of the Region Address, which was read on his behalf by the Councillor of Oshikuku Constituency and the Chairperson of Omusati Regional Council, Modestus Amutse.
In the same vein the governor also appealed to NCA farmers to sell their cattle while it is still at a market-recommended age, unlike now when cattle are sold when old as farmers attach sentimental value to their livestock and are not keen to sell them.
“Sadly, the majority of farmers do not perceive cattle farming as a business, but rather as a way of lifestyle according to which their status and wealth are measured against the number of livestock families own,” said Endjala.
Endjala also encouraged farmers to effectively optimise the recently opened abattoir at Outapi to improve their livelihoods.
According to Endjala, the region has about 270,000 cattle altogether.
The governor said he has taken cognisance of the current unpredictable rain pattern and saturated grazing areas but says that should not be a barrier to untapping opportunities at their disposal.
The governor added there is also an opportunity to venture into meat processing.
But while there are vast opportunities to venture into, Endjala said the region lacks the required resources, expertise and exposure.
“It is high time for all of us to seriously engage one another through investment models such as public-private partnerships, direct investment, build, operate and transfer and other possible business ventures.”