China to receive the first consignment of local beef
The country celebrated a milestone achievement when it saw off the first beef consignment to China on Thursday at the Meatco Head office.
At a send off event of 21 tonnes of beef, meat processing and marketing entity, Meatco Board Chairperson, Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun said, the entity and the nation at large is excited about entering into an alternative market.
The move to send beef to China is set to diversify the country’s destinations for export, considering that China is the world’s largest consumer market.
The Minister of Agriculture, Water and forestry, Alpheus Naruseb said the first consignment is irrefutable proof that the relationship between China and Namibia is one of give and take, is mutually beneficial.
Namibia since as far as 2005 has been in the process of obtaining access to the Chinese market for its beef products.
In 2016, Namibia and China signed a milestone agreement that would see A-grade beef enter the massive Asian market, making it the only country in Africa to export beef to that country.
In January 2016, the Certification and Accreditation Administration from China visited Meatco to conduct an audit on the facilities.
However, from 2016 in the first half of 2017, the country experienced lumpy skin disease outbreak in the Foot and Mouth (FMD) –free zone, notably the Otjozondjupa, Kunene and Omaheke regions. Outbreaks caused the negotiations to stall.
A final memorandum of understanding was signed in March last year, while the declarations for lumpy skin disease were completed in February this year.
According to the latest statistics from NSA, currently China continued to lead ahead of South Africa as the largest export destination for local products, making up 18% of total exports.
Caption: Local is lekker. The first consignment of beef was send-off yesterday by the Meatco Board Chairperson, Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, Minister of Agriculture, Water and forestry, Alpheus Naruseb, Chinese Embassy Charge d’Affaires Yang Jun, Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Tjekero Tweya as well as other officials.