Meatco Namibia recently paid a courtesy call to the governor of the Otjozondjupa Region as well as regional and town council members to discuss projects in the region and gain their favour for the construction of a Meatco feedlot at Kombat.
According to Meatco senior manager: stakeholder relations Lapitomhinda Hashingola, the meeting served as a platform for Meatco to engage with the regional leadership and explain our marketing and backward integration initiatives.
Producers that are part of the Meatco Owned Cattle (MOC) initiative have been under pressure because of limited grazing. However, the feedlots are marketing initiatives that can help producers sell their animals. Due to the drought, Meatco is assisting farmers by accommodating their excess cattle at feedlots. The feedlots are part of Meatco’s backward integration initiative that can help uplift communal farming to commercial standards and maximize opportunities for farmers in general.
Otjiwarongo mayor and council chairperson Bennes Haimbondi told Meatco about one of the town’s projects taking place in collaboration with AGRIBUSDEV. This is something in which Meatco could participate in terms of fodder production for the feedlot.
Bearing in mind that the feedlot will rely on fodder production, there will also be opportunities for local entrepreneurs to supply the Kombat feedlot, which in turn will bring socio-economic development to the region – something the regional leadership is very keen on.
The feedlot is seen as a good initiative that could link with other projects by enhancing growth opportunities for farmers in the spirit of “Harambee”. The regional leadership therefore added its weight to the feedlot, further supported by the fact that due to export regulations there is a need for the transformation of the Namibian weaner production system into an oxen production system.
Councillors voiced their concerns about the drought, animal health and condition, as well as animal husbandry matters.
“The regional leadership informed Meatco about the Otjiwarongo Resettlement Farmers Day, where resettled farmers share insight, knowledge and challenges with stakeholders – something that would give Meatco a platform to share information on how these farmers could better market their livestock,” Hashingola says.
The Otjozondjupa Region is well-known for cattle farming, while the area surrounding Grootfontein and Otavi is known as the “bread basket” of Namibia. To a certain extent there is great potential to establish industries connected with such farming activities and its by-products. It has the further advantage of uniting communal and commercial farming in the same region.