The Meat Board of Namibia has indicated that the Rundu Abattoir is expected to resume operations in the coming months, with estimates pointing to the end of August 2023.
The renovated abattoir will slaughter for both domestic and export, however, it will start with the domestic market first, and it will be operated by the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco).
It is estimated that it will have the capacity to slaughter around 120 cattle per day and it will utilise the commodity-based approach due to the presence of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Northern regions.
In its monthly livestock statistics, the Meat Board stated that the resumption of the abattoir “will serve as an additional marketing stream for the Northern farmers which will inadvertently complement beef exports to regional markets”.
This comes at the time the northern side of the redline from the Kunene to the Zambezi region is estimated to have more than a million cattle, and beef raw materials.
Despite the availability of beef raw material, there is limited commercial slaughtering happening in the Northern regions.
Out of the 69,985 heads of cattle slaughtered from January to June 2023 only 6,085 were slaughtered commercially on the Northern side of the redline.
Most of the 6,085 cattle were slaughtered at the B and C-class abattoirs, as compared to the A-class abattoir.
Slaughtering has been increasing significantly since January at A Class abattoirs in the South, and by the end of June 2023, they have slaughtered 48,761, this is 10,902 more heads of cattle compared to the same period last year.
Meatco Southern A class abattoir account for more of the 28,873cattle slaughteredwhile Beefcor slaughtered 19,888 heads of cattle, the data shows.
As for the North redline class A abattoir, in Zambezi region, it has only slaughtered 1,680 during the same period, with monthly slaughtering of between 260 to 460 heads.
Another significant observation from the statistics is that the country has slaughtered more cattle domestically than live export for the first six months of the year. The country has sold 67,417 live animals compared to 69,985 heads of cattle that were slaughtered inside the country.
As for June, it has been observed that the ratio between live exports and slaughtering in the country improved with 53.0% of all cattle marketed being slaughtered at A, B & Class abattoirs while live exports market share reduced and averaged 47.0%, a decline of 5.9% of total marketing.
For the months of May and June 2023 the country producers have supplied more cattle to abattoirs compared to exporting learners mostly to South Africa.
For May 2023, the country has slaughtered 13,167 heads of cattle, while exporting 11,171 live heads of cattle.
As of June 2023, the country has slaughtered 17,366 heads of cattle and sold 12,482 live cattle, mostly weaners.
Te Meat Board said the market signals appear to be well-functioning in the livestock and meat industry as producers responded well to relatively attractive prices offered by A-class abattoirs.
Beyond local consumption, beef is one of the products complementing fish that Namibia exports consistently, bringing in foreign reserves and rewarding producers.
As for the six months, the country has exported 6,7 million kilogrammes of beef to more than eight markets around the world, with June 2023 being one of the good months as the country exported 2,5 million kilogrammes.
However, it has been observed that for the past two years, the country has not exported to one of its newly secured markets, the USA.
South Africa is one of Namibia’s off-taker of beef in Africa, for the past six months it has bought N$1,1 million worth of Namibian beef.
Another observation, the country has supplied beef to one of its competitors, Botswana, for four consecutive months in 2023, equivalent to 139,829 kilogrammes compared to 7,690 kilogrammes supplied last year.
Apart from South Africa and Botswana, Angola was the only country that was supplied with beef almost consistently this year even though in small quantities.
As for the new Ghanamarket, it was only supplied once in April with 25,017 kilogrammes of beefin the six months under review, while last year it was only supplied twice.
Even though last year Tanzania and DRC came into the picture once as an export market for Namibian beef, for the six months under review, the two have not procured any beef from Namibia.
A total of 137,402 cattle were marketed during the first half of 2023, this is 11,838 cattle more compared to the first half of last year. Email: email@example.com