The latest Meat Board of Namibia livestock marketing statistics reflect the disturbing consequences of the 2019 drought.
On a year-to-year basis , ending July 2020, total marketing of cattle decreased by 39%. Export abattoirs slaughtered 56% fewer cattle while live cattle exports (mainly weaners) fell by up to 50%.
In terms of sheep marketing, 56% fewer animals were marketed on a yearto- year basis up to and including July 2020. Sheep export abattoirs slaughtered 84% less while live exports declined by 52%. The total marketing of goats was down 74% on a year-to-year basis ending July 2020.
According to the Meat Board, this cannot be directly attributed to the drought but rather Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on public gatherings (such as funerals and weddings) in South Africa.
"The consequences of the 2019 drought will be felt for some time to come, especially in the area of producer and secondary agribusiness income and corresponding financial contributions to the national economy," the Meat Board said in the latest issue of the Meat Chronicle.
The Meat Board noted that only good rainy seasons over the next few years will restore the meat industry to some profitability, adding that it is therefore important that the industry is given the opportunity to recover and is not faced with restrictions to serve Namibia's current markets for both livestock and meat.