By Kaleb Nghishidivali
OUTAPI, 17 Aug. – The adverse effects of the ongoing drought are reverberating throughout Namibia, extending their impact on the meat industry. Recent revelations indicate that the Amarika butchery is procuring a significant 40% of its cattle from sources beyond its cooperative members, residing in the Omusati Region. The revelation was made by Calle Schlettwein, Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, during the formal presentation of the Amarika butchery in Outapi town, within the Omusati region.
Despite the challenges posed by the drought, Minister Schlettwein noted that since its inception in May 2023, the Amarika butchery has been thriving. With a workforce of three staff members currently employed, plans are in place to expand staffing as the business grows. “Our primary focus lies in value addition and offering customers an array of meat products, ranging from biltong to sausages. The premises are leased from the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA),” elucidated the Minister.
While the butchery’s success is evident, Minister Schlettwein urged local farmers and residents to sustain their support for the Amarika Farmers’ Cooperative. He emphasized the importance of ramping up livestock production and optimizing profits. The cooperative must pursue additional knowledge concerning commercial livestock production to ensure a consistent and sustainable meat supply.
On a different note, the Minister highlighted the need for the butchery management to concentrate on product enhancement and capacity building, enabling it to cater to various regions within the country and potentially expand to other African nations in the foreseeable future.
Minister Schlettwein emphasized that the gains from the meat industry’s investment are not limited to Amarika alone. The Okahao branch received vital support from GIZ-F4R, which supplied meat cutters, cold rooms, display fridges, sausage fillers, worktables, and a vehicle valued at NAD 480,000 ($31,832 USD). Similarly, the Outapi butchery was bolstered by NAMSIP funds, facilitating the procurement of equipment including a biltong cabinet, deep fridge, display chiller fridge, and vacuum sealer, valued at NAD 197,000 ($13,094 USD).
The meat industry stands as a crucial pillar of the Namibian economy, holding the potential to bolster farmers and workers while fostering growth and exports. However, the prevailing drought underscores the necessity for concerted efforts to guarantee an enduring supply of cattle and other livestock. – Namibia Daily News