Namibia Targets Middle-East As Alternative Market For Its Beef

Namibia is seeking new markets for its beef and has launched several studies which show promising results, the country’s meat board said on Monday.

The Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) said it is scouted for newer markets for Namibian beef to expand opportunities for farmers.

According to the MBN, it is seeking to add to its traditional markets, namely South Africa, China, the United States, Norway and the European Union.

The meat board said it has conducted research regarding several Middle Eastern markets which has shown promising results.

“Current markets are Foot-and-Mouth Disease sensitive and therefore Middle-Eastern markets can offer alternatives,” the board said in a statement.

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“We need to be cognizant of the current limited production of cattle and beef as a consequence of the 2019 drought, and that further research on alternative markets will not necessarily lead to market utilisation,’’ said the statement.

The MBN also noted that total cattle marketing decreased by 31 per cent in the January to August period, in spite producer prices showing a 2per cent increase for slaughter cattle and a 39per cent increase for weaner calves.

Exports of weaner calves that represent 63 per cent of the total cattle market share decreased by 49 per cent during the reported period, it added.

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In February, Namibian meat processor Meatco sent the South African country’s first shipment of beef to the US, making it the first country in Africa eligible to export beef to the US.

After undergoing several audits, health and safety protocols since Namibia became eligible in 2016, the consignment was the first official commercial shipment to the US.

Namibia’s livestock industry is worth approximately N$3.9 billion annually, according to Meat Board 2019 statistics, with Meatco’s share around 50%.

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