Okapuka feedlot faring well
Despite the on going drought, the Okapuka feedlot has emerged as a major contributor to Meatco’s position, as Namibia’s largest beef exporter. Meatco showed a 9.1 % increase in slaughtered cattle, bringing about an increase in producer prices for the 2014 to 2015 period.
The feedlot was responsible for the 32 350 additional animals that Meatco put to slaughter on top of the projected 78 000 for the year; this intensive beef production can lead to efficiency gains if the production system has a sufficient scale of operation.
In 2015 the feedlot moved 32 350 carcasses, 24 428 in 2012 and 15 005 in the year 2010.
This production system also benefits the surrounding community due to the relatively high requirement for labour, contributing to an increase in Meatco’s workforce.
According to Meatco’s Senior Feedlot Manager Andries Binneman, markets for Namibian beef are very important. Before investing in a feedlot, it is essential to investigate and establish a market for the beef to market destinations such as Norway.
Binnemann added that the components needed for producing beef should be based on the requirements of the target market. Factors that need to be considered include feeding regimes, animal genetics, product price, animal welfare and investment in infrastructure. In order to minimise associated risks and increase market security, it is important to maintain a close relationship with the target customer. “The animals at the feedlot are hormone free, antibiotic free and BSE free, to mention a few of the standards that we maintain due to the relationship Meatco has with its producers, clients and other stakeholders,” Binneman said.
An advantage of feedlot cattle is the ability to produce animals that are uniform in both weight and fat score. This enhances the capacity for forward selling or contracting as a suitable marketing option.
“The feedlot enables Meatco to slaughter high quality beef throughout the year, which allows consumers to enjoy quality beef 12 months of the year,” Binneman added.