Farmers Union studies farming activities in the Northern Communal Area
The Namibia National Farmers Union hosted a workshop aimed at building consensus on the transformation of the farming activities in the Northern Communal Area.
The workshop was hosted late last month in Otjiwarongo under the theme ‘The development of the Northern Communal Area livestock sector transformation’.
The workshop aimed to create a value-chain from ‘farm-to-fork’ in the area and established that there are limited marketing opportunities supporting farmers in that area.
According to a statement from the Union the industry deems it important to start streamlining and transforming that market to deliver in order to benefit farmers who are disadvantaged due to the animal health status of the northern communal area, namely the foot-and-mouth disease protection zone above the Veterinary Cordon Fence.
The Farmer’s Union also commissioned a study that investigated the marketing systems for livestock and livestock products in the area, in order to understand production, processing and marketing systems and the decisions that the role players make within these systems.
Furthermore, the study identified key constraints and opportunities within the existing value chains that can subsequently become the focus of policy, strategy, institutional and regulatory attention. Ultimately, the study advocates for market access of livestock and livestock products originating from the area in the domestic, regional and international markets through a commodity-based trade approach.
Upon completion of the study, the Union invited various stakeholders to the workshop to appreciate the recommendations of the study while agreeing on the implementation plan of those recommendations, which will present tangible transformation results in the area.
Meatco’s Executive: Marketing and Sales, Isaac Nathinge, from the company’s perspective as part of its task by the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry to develop a strategy for the northern communal area, said this was an opportunity for them to ensure that the critical aspects of the strategy were incorporated in the outcome of the workshop.
“Meatco intends to operate the Rundu Abattoir under a lease agreement with the ministry. Therefore, we would like the Rundu Abattoir to be linked to a feedlot supported by the green scheme programme to promote marketing of younger animals and improve the quality of older animals. Ultimately, Meatco would like to regain its market share that we lost during the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth in 2014,” he concluded.