Meatco’s Mobile Slaughter Unit (MSU) that was introduced into the Northern Communal Area (NCA) in mid-August 2016 has been on a good journey thus far.
The unit has extended its stay at Mutambo Ribebe quarantine camp due to increased demand for slaughter.
In keeping with the demand, a centralized area of operations for the NCA is in the pipeline and will soon be revealed.
The Oshikoto region is strongly being considered once all the logistics are in place and the condition of animals allows for easier marketability.
According to MSU Plant Manager, Obed Kaatura, the unit that has a slaughter throughput of between 15 and 20 cattle per week, managed to slaughter 746 animals in 2016, 927 in 2017 and 303 from January to date, with demand still surging.
The NCA has always been a tough market due to the veterinary cordon fence, which means that marketing opportunities in the area remain limited because meat from this area cannot be exported.
Thus, the need to constantly seek new clients in this area cannot be overemphasized.
In this vein, Meatco will continue to seek marketing opportunities to the advantage of the company and farmers in the area.
The limited market has a bearing on the efficient operations of the MSU in that fewer cattle are slaughtered compared to budget. However, more local farmers have expressed their interest in selling their cattle to Meatco.
Cattle slaughtered at the MSU are marketed as carcasses or value added into beef cuts, beef stew and some fresh beef products.
Offal products are sold directly to the Kavango Marketing Cooperative with the help of the Meatco Foundation.
The Kavango Marketing Cooperative then repackages the offal products and sells them to the local market, an income-generating activity that enhances the cooperative’s capacity.
“Meatco adapted a strategy that is especially formulated for the NCA market to provide a service that is affordable while maximising profits for the company,” Kaatura said.