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FMD, drought severely affects meat producers

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Persistent drought and out-break of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has placed the red meat producers in a predicament.

Roelie Venter, the Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Agricultural Union said drought forces local producers to sell large numbers of livestock because of the dire grazing conditions.

In addition, FMD outbreak means that South Africa’s borders are closed and no animal or meat products can be exported.

However, the decline in exports of slaughtered animals to South Africa, has resulted in a 30 percent drop in the price of beef weaners and sheep in Namibia, according to Venter.

“For example, sheep prices fell from R68/kg to R50/kg on the day the FMD outbreak was made public. Beef weaner prices dropped R6/kg,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Namibian Livestock Producers’ Organisation, Piet Gouws, announced that an urgent meeting is yet to be scheduled with the country’s minister of agriculture to inform him about the critical extent of the drought and to discuss operations to undertake.