1 389 cattle already imported from Botswana – Agriculture

1 389 cattle already imported from Botswana - Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Namibia has already imported 1 389 cattle – from a preliminary application of 1 904 – from Botswana for slaughter at local abattoirs.

According to the Meat Board of Namibia, the country is recovering from a devasting drought from 2013 and with the good rains received, the industry is focused on herd rebuilding.

“The extensive impact of the drought is witnessed by the sharp decline in marketing numbers. Of this, the major impact is with formal slaughtering and, as a result, abattoirs are forced to look at alternative sources of supply.”

The Meat Board said Botswana was identified as a source destination due to its similar environmental conditions and being a Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD) free zone.

In addition, the Botswana government has temporarily lifted its moratorium on live exports and Namibian abattoirs may take advantage of this.

“However, only male animals may be imported from Botswana, subject to strict import requirements of the Namibian Directorate of Veterinary Services.”

Herd recovery

The Meat Board said after the persistent drought, more than 1 362 million cattle were marketed during 2017 to 2019.

“The year 2020 saw a slow-down in cattle marketing by half in comparison to 2019.”

It said last year was poised to experience an upsurge in beef carcass prices, but due to Covid-19 pandemic demand for premium beef in Namibia’s key export markets, prices stabilised, averaging N$45.50/kg for the year.

“With a continued herd-rebuilding exercise, a further decline in cattle marketing is expected in 2021.

Meat Board forecasts indicate formal slaughtering of under 53 000 cattle this year.

It said up to the end of February, 7 775 cattle have been slaughtered in the formal market.

“With limited slaughtering, prices are expected to increase as Namibia will find it difficult to satisfy all markets. The Norwegian quota is expected to receive priority.”

Currently, the B2 beef carcass price stands at N$50.54/kg as per January to February released statistics, while weaner prices stood at N$42.74 during the first two months of 2021.

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