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Namibia’s Meatco Expects a Profitable Year

The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) expected a significant turnaround for the financial year running from February 2023 to January 2024.

Meatco ascribed the expectation to the high number of cattle sent for slaughter in that country at the moment.

Meatco said in a statement that should the trend continue, it was likely that it could to lead to a consolidated recovery year. The company performed favourably in May and June by generating around N$107 million (about R106 million) and N$190 million (R188 million) in revenue respectively.

Farmer’s Weekly previously reported on complaints by Namibia’s beef cattle producers about late payments from Meatco, as well as the dire financial state the company found itself in.

Meatco in the meanwhile said it “aims to accomplish its commitment of paying producers on time while managing and paying suppliers to ultimately maximise returns from the lucrative niche markets where we market our premium meat products”.

According to the Meat Board of Namibia, during the second quarter of 2023, livestock and meat marketing rebounded. This was mainly driven by the increase in beef exports. The number of cattle marketed increased from 78 212 head for an increase of 8% over the number of cattle marketed during the second quarter of last year.

Meatco slaughtered a total of 38 401 animals, with 2 079 slaughtered from the Northern Communal Area (NCA) and 36 322 from the area south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (SVCF) as of end July 2023.

For April, an average cattle weight of 251,64kg was recorded, with an average price of R60,24/kg paid to producers, whereas in May the weight was 253,22kg, with R59,67/kg the average price paid for the month. For June, the average slaughter weight was 253,63kg, while the average price was R60,13/kg. Meatco has budgeted to slaughter 50 000 animals from the SVCF and 10 000 from the NVCF for the 2023/24 financial year.

Namibian organised agricultural structures, including the Livestock Producers’ Organisation, the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers‘ Union and the Namibia National Farmers‘ Union met with the Cabinet earlier this month to discuss the issue of late payments.

A final recommendation by the Ministry of Finance was awaited, according to a statement by the Namibia Agricultural Union.