Livestock sector under severe strain
The local livestock sector is weighted down by several challenges that include climate influences, policy uncertainties and the impact of COVID-19 the Meat Board of Namibia said.
The Meat Board said it is expected that the impact of the pandemic will be more visible during the second quarter due to the decrease in consumer spending locally and overseas.
Furthermore, it is also expected that the demand for high value cuts will further be influenced by the lower household consumption which has been fuelled by the closing of restaurants as a result of the lockdown.
According to the Meat Board, during the first term of 2020, 31.39% fewer cattle were marketed as opposed to the same period last year as marketing decreased from 93, 633 cattle to 64,245 cattle on a quarterly basis. Weaner exports decreased with 22.90% from 63.417 cattle in 2019 to 48,896 cattle during 2020, while the slaughtering of cattle has significantly decreased with 50%.
During the first quarter of 2020, 15,349 cattle were slaughtered in comparison to the 30,216 cattle that were slaughtered during the same period in 2019.
Furthermore, sheep marketing decreased with a significant 60.51% with 177,601 sheep marketed during the first quarter of 2019 to 70, 141 sheep during the same period in 2020. Sheep slaughtered for export decreased from 52,903 sheep to 12,456 sheep during the first quarter whereas throughput of local abattoirs decreased from 50,502 sheep to 14,766 sheep during the same period.
The Meat Board noted that the downward tendency in sheep marketing is expected to continue for the rest of the year due to the scarce rainfall in the south of the country, as well as policy insecurities.
Goat marketing decreased with 24.94% as total goats marketed decreased from 26,509 during the first quarter of 2019 to 19,897 goats during the same period of 2020.