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Meatco looks to improve production this year – CEO

Meatco looks to improve production this year – CEO

Meat processing entity, Meatco anticipates prosperity for the agricultural sector amid the prevailing global COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s Chief Executive, Mwilima Mushokabanji highlighted in his new year’s message released this week.

Mushokabanji said, Meatco looks forward to improve production, after 2020 saw slaughter numbers dropping to 35,314 cattle in 2020, from 115,305 in 2019.

According to Mushokabanji, Norway, which constitutes more than 20% of Meatco’s turnover, will remain their key focus market for 2021, while China is also expected to bring significant contributions as the only market beyond Africa that accept bone-in beef products.

Currently, Meatco is the only abattoir in Africa that exports beef to the USA despite the socio-economic developments currently at play.

“The COVID-19 pandemic will continue impacting our key markets, however, the effect is mostly on the change in customer buying patterns and expanding customer base effectively. The strain on the restaurant and catering industries is affecting the sustainability of such businesses, some of which are reported to have closed,” Mushokabanji said.

As 2021 is seeing the birth of Brexit, opportunities for Meatco could be altered in Europe and United Kingdom markets, he added.

“With the onset of 2021, cattle prices in Europe remain firm while in the UK prices started higher than the previous five-years’ high points,” Mushokabanji explained.

Domestically, Mushokabanji said Meatco will operate the Rundu Abattoir and provide technical support in the operation of Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs. The renovation of the Rundu Abattoir is nearing completion and is expected to be handed over during the first quarter of this year.

“We will also continue to operate our Mobile Slaughter Unit (MSU) and the Meatma Bonanza, as an outlet for distributing and selling our products in the northern communal area,” he added.

Moreover, he said farmers from far as Gam will be able to market their cattle directly to Meatco and these cattle will be slaughtered directly at Meatco’s abattoir. This was achieved following extensive engagement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform and the newly renovated kraals are now EU-complaint, meaning farmers will be able to market their livestock with ease.

The Gam marketing kraal will officially be opened next month and direct procurement of cattle from the area is an important milestone for Meatco and the livestock industry, he added.

“2021, will prove to be another year in which we rigorously engage and sustain conversations with you, through our platforms such as the Meatco Foundation, our Corporate Social Responsibility vehicle, Producer Forums, Farmers Liaison Meetings and pertinently, through our Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services Programme, which was launched and successfully held the first class late in October last year,” Mushokabanji said.

Meanwhile, Mushokabanji said Meatco’s Integrated Strategic Business Plan for 2021-2025, was submitted to the Ministry of Public Enterprises on 21 December 2020 for review and approval.

The plan aims at strategic initiatives such as increasing throughput, improving operational efficiency and maximising on market returns.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys