Reho Meat Processors aims to export Wagyu

Gatsby Africa visits Namibia’s livestock sector
Worldwide, Wagyu is considered a sought-after, high-quality niche product and the demand far exceeds the supply.
Ellanie Smit
Ellanie Smit

At the end of last year, the Meat Board of Namibia approved an application for the registration of the Reho Meat Processors abattoir in Rehoboth.

The facility aims to eventually upgrade to an A-class export abattoir, which will then export Namibian Wagyu beef. Meanwhile, certified Wagyu beef is slaughtered at the abattoir for the local market.

The Meat Board’s classification department handles the verification and grading of Wagyu in Namibia.

Worldwide, Wagyu meat is considered a sought-after, high-quality niche product and the demand far exceeds the supply. There is also a global shift in consumer preference from quantity to quality.

In other news, the Farm Assured Namibian Meat Scheme (FAN Meat) section of the Meat Board successfully passed its annual International Standards Organisation (ISO) audit - conducted by an independent international certification organisation - during February.

FAN Meat implements and maintains an ISO quality management system to improve on overall service delivery as well as confirm international credibility of the scheme.

GA visit

The Meat Board also assisted with Gatsby Africa’s livestock department’s visit to Namibia’s livestock sector from 5 to 11 March.

Gatsby Africa (GA) is a non-governmental organisation based in Kenya, which aims to develop an efficient and organised local livestock sector with consistent supply of quality livestock sourced from pastoral areas.

Its livestock programme in that country has been implementing and testing various models of animal health service delivery and strategic partnerships with large input companies to ensure that farmers access the right information and resources.

According to the Meat Board, the visit was aimed at being exposed to success stories in the Namibian livestock industry and how the industry geared itself towards being a leader in Africa in terms of global exports.

The board, along with Global Quality System Consulting, organised the itinerary, speakers and visits to several strategic stakeholders.

GA was exposed to the roles and functions of the Meat Board, the operations of both the Namibia National Farmers’ Union and the Namibia Agricultural Union, and the functions of the Namibia Stud Breeders Association.

They also visited the Ovitoto communal area where they interacted with communal livestock producers, as well as the Hochveld Windhoek Livestock Auctioneers auction, the Hochveld feedlot and the Beefcor abattoir at Okahandja.

Fence energisers

Furthermore, the Meat Board also approved the purchase of fence energisers and other equipment to the value of N$900 000 in an effort to protect the Namibia-Botswana border fence against elephant encroachment.

A fence energiser takes in electrical energy from an outside source and then pushes the energy out through the fence in very brief pulses. When an animal touches the energised wires, the resulting shock deters the animal from challenging the fence again.

According to the board, the installation of the electrification equipment is still subject to a proper security contract, which government must confirm with an on-site security firm.

Elephant intrusion from Botswana creates a significant problem with the integrity of the fence and the protection of Namibia’s internationally confirmed foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) free zone, and must therefore be maximally protected, it said.