Government buys 30% in Meatco

Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, chairperson of Meatco has confirmed that the Namibian government would take up the long awaited 30% stake in the form of equity in Meatco.
Namundjebo-Tilahun delivered the good news for all stakeholders at the AGM of Meatco, which brings to an
end speculation about government’s intentions regarding the controlling shareholding. The announcement also made clear that the original cabinet decision has not changed, namely that Meatco should be a producer-owned and controlled entity under a cooperative type structure. The cooperative will consist
of producers and a trading company in which the producers will have the majority shareholding and government the minority share. Cabinet emphasised that any form of ownership of both the cooperative and the holding company should accommodate communal and commercial livestock producers and shall have to take cognizance of the strategic nature of the meat industry, the public investment made in the control of animal disease and the marketing of meat and meat products.
According to the government, the acquisition is a calculated move as the meat industry has been declared a strategic sector that is dependent on weather and climate change.
Namundjebo-Tilahun explains: “In the case of drought, the government will be able to intervene and rescue producers from bankruptcy, while animal disease control, maintenance of the veterinary cordon fence and testing standards will also be the state’s responsibility. It is clear to all of us that our industry is in a crisis and it will be to our detriment if we do not apply our minds as well as interrogate everything that is presented to us.”
At the AGM the CEO of Meatco, Vekuii Rukoro, highlighted the company’s performance for 2013/14, saying Meatco recorded increased revenue of 14.61%, mainly due to the additional Norway quota and weakening Namibian dollar against foreign currencies.
He stressed the importance of focussing on production to ensure efficiencies and ongoing focus on
improving stakeholders’ relations, and building mutual confidence with government, producers, employees
and customers.
In total Meatco slaughtered 116 771 cattle in 2013/14, only 141 animals less than the previous financial year, representing less that a one percent decrease. – New Era news