Speakers at Meatco’s Open Season From Left to Right: Estelle De Bruyn (on behalf of Ronelle Rademeyer), Vehaka Tjimune, Daniel Motinga, Mandi Smallhorne, Vekuii Rukoro and Goliath Tujendapi.
The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) held its first annual Media Open Day with journalists and editors from various local media institutions at the Opera House in Windhoek on 27 May 2015.
The aim of this event was to engage and enlighten key stakeholders in the media with regards to the ever-changing environment in the livestock and meat industry, and to share with them information about issues that impact these sectors.
The information day took place at a critical time, considering that Namibia’s northern region is currently suffering from an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease.
At the information sharing session the keynote speaker, Mail & Guardian freelance science journalist Mandi Smallhorne, urged reporters to improve their scientific coverage skills on a continuous basis by analysing and doing further research when writing scientific stories that affect the Namibian economy. She also encouraged participants to explore ways to undergo training and develop resources in specific fields, with special emphasis on the agricultural sector.
Other speakers were Meatco’s Chief Executive Officer Adv. Vekuii Rukoro, who stressed the important role the livestock sector – especially Meatco – plays in the Namibian economy. He urged stakeholders to remain pro-active at various levels so as to sustain this volatile sector.
Adding to this, local independent financial economist Daniel Motinga, said the livestock sector contributes 2% to the country’s GDP and more than 40% of Namibian livelihoods depend on this market segment.
At the event, Trade and Strategic Manager of the Meat Board of Namibia Goliath Tujendapi, said the sector will only survive in the long term if government policies continue to be in line with industry initiatives, indicating that the industry should build in-house capacity in terms of restocking strategies.
Concluding the session, agricultural journalist Ronelle Rademeyer, urged her peers to establish an “Agriculture Press Club” with the aim of improving the standard of reporting agriculture-related articles in these challenging climatic and environmental times.