Namibia’s agricultural sector will be facing a difficult year ahead, a trade group said on Monday.

The group, Meat Corporation (MEATCO) of Namibia, said in a report that prediction was made based on the recent border closure necessitated by a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in South Africa and a looming drought.

The drought will result in most farmers only determining their marketing trend for 2019 toward the end of February if the much-anticipated rains do not occur earlier or around that time, said MEATCO Executive of Livestock Procurement Heiner Böhme.

“On the other hand, slaughter prices are expected to remain sideways or slightly increase as a result of an awaited battle for local slaughter cattle due to the border closure as mentioned above,” Böhme said. “This could also lead to potential shortage of beef on the shelves of local retailers.”

“Producer prices in neighboring South Africa are dropping, particularly those of sheep, and consequently affecting Namibia’s domestic sheep industry,” he said.

“In a bid to mitigate the current difficulties in the industry, MEATCO has lowered its feedlot intake weight to 220 kg. MEATCO will also continue to pay fair prices to producers,” Böhme added. Enditem


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