The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Carl Schlettwein, says MeatCo still remains a crucial entity in the meat market and that it has no immediate replacement.

Schlettwein noted that although the government cannot keep up with bailing out MeatCo all the time, there are currently no plans to replace the entity, and it remains the heartbeat of the livestock sector.

"That's why we have appointed a consultant to look at possible ways of restructuring, on the one hand taking the private sector on the other to see if the mix of private capital and public involvement financing we can revive the company so that it plays its role to ensure a market for the livestock we are there it's a complicated discussion we have received the report and we will take the decision soon once we have consulted all stakeholders."

He also emphasised that MeatCo remains Namibia's marketing agent for beef outside the country.

"You asked what went wrong. We believe that there are two main reasons that caused the demise of MeatCo. First of all, the abattoir, which is an asset of MeatCo, was designed to slaughter 129,000 animals, and MeatCo's operation was geared towards handling that volume because of drought and market movements. Because of drought and market movements, that capacity has been reduced to 30,000. They are completely overgeared, and the operational costs are eating into their financial liabilities so much that they are making a loss."

He says for MeatCo to break even, it should slaughter at least 60,000 cattle per year.

Photo Credits
New Era Newspaper


July Nafuka