Meatco Foundation hands over first project
The Meatco Foundation officially handed over its first project to its beneficiaries in the Kavango region last week. The project comprised the drilling of two boreholes to supply water to eight smallholder farmers in the Mbunza area in the region.
The area is known for the vast distances farmers are required to travel to reach water points, which is a major challenge for agricultural development in the area.
Several dignitaries were present to witness the handover, including the governor of the Kavango Region, Maurus Nekaro, the chief of Mbunza, Alfons Kaundo and the regional councillor for the Kapako Constituency, Frieda Siwombe. Also present were the donors, the chairperson of the Meatco Foundation, Helmut Angula and several members of the community.
Speaking at the event, Governor Nekaro said that 940 190 hectares of land suitable for commercial agriculture lies un-utilised or under-utilised in the Kavango region.
He said that the situation could be attributed to the water situation in the region.
“Although the Kavango region is blessed with the Kavango River, this particular resource is only accessible to a few of us living on the borderline,” Nekaro said.
The governor added that 516 small-scale commercial farms in need of infrastructure development in the region have been identified and that 116 of those units fall within the Mbunza area. He said that since the development of farms in the area was in its infancy, it was good timing for the Meatco Foundation to come on board.
According to Nekaro, Meatco has established itself as a reliable market in the region for communal producers, but that transport costs, the issue of the Red Line and outbreaks of diseases are still limiting factors to the marketing process.
The Meatco Foundation views the project as the first step in a long journey to aid the development of the commercial potential in the Northern Communal areas.
Thomas Roland, head of corporate social responsibility at FDB, agrees.
FDB, one of the main sponsors of the project, is a consumers’ cooperative based in Denmark and serves as the holding company for Danish Coop, one of the biggest retailers in Denmark and a Meatco client.
Thomas said FDB’s goal is to work together with Meatco to improve socio-economic conditions in Namibia. He said that because FDB is a consumer-owned cooperative, the Danish consumers helped to fund the boreholes.
“For every kilogram of meat from Meatco we sold, we donated one krone to the fund. That means, in our shops, we sold enough of Meatco’s product to help make this project possible,” he said.
The funds for the borehole project were secured by the Meatco Foundation from FDB, Meatco Namibia, Meatco UK and Global Protein solutions.