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Farmers Meat small stock abattoir & processing to positively impact small-stock farmers in the southern region and beyond

Since its two-year closure caused by the devastating drought that plagued the country, the Mariental based Farmers Meat small stock abattoir & processing have officially re-opened. The operation of Farmers Meat started as of last year in October however the official re-opening was inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture Water and Land Reform (MAWLR), Carl H Schlettwein in Mariental on the 03rd of August.

The re-opening of Farmers Meat abattoir and processing facility is regarded to be a positive development in the Namibian sheep and small stock sector. Well considered to play a pivotal role in unlocking economic opportunities for small stock farmers in the region and beyond, the abattoir will act as a catalyst investment in the small stock value chains with positive multiplier effects across the entire value chains.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, the minister of agriculture Carl highlighted that the re-opening of Farmers Meat is a prime example of how the private investment serves as a catalyst for revitalizing economic activity in general, and the small stock industry in particular.

Following a major 2019 acquisition stake by O & L in Hartlief, the company group (O&L) have been on a positive journey to positively impact Namibian farmers and the country through unique tailored investments in the agricultural sector. Speaking at the official re-opening; O & L Group CEO, Wessie Van Der Westhuizen revealed that their collective strategy and investment into the agriculture sector as the backbone of the nation is vital for ensuring food security, economic growth and sustainable development. Farmers Meat is fully falling under the umbrella of the Hartlief Group.

As the biggest sheep abattoir operation in Namibia, its opening already made a remarkable impact. As the only approved exporter of sheep meat in the country, the abattoir have paid over N$ 75 million to sheep producers between October 2022 and June 2023.

Through Farmers Meat, the exceptional quality of Namibian lamb is already showcased and enjoyed on an international scale. According to O & L Group CEO, Wessie the abattoir have begun exporting deboned lamb to Norway and Seychelles, and they are currently on the verge of exporting their first consignment to Germany (EU) and the Bermuda Island (Caribbean Islands).

The operationalization of the abattoir is not only a good shot in the arm of investors and small stock producers, but also one of the pathways to reboot the economic dynamics of the Southern regions, Hardap and //Karas and Mariental specifically to build  back better, following the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on livelihoods.

The minister of Agriculture, Carl have also revealed that the government is at an advanced stage to finalise the sheep and goat meat market access agreement with China. Once finalized, this will open up a significant market for Namibian sheep and goat meat products, thus creating opportunity for increased domestic capacity by producers.

For the 2023 calendar year, Farmers Meat plan to process 55 000 sheep and in 2024, they aim to handle between 100 000 and 170 000 sheep, which will require further investment. By 2025, they envision reaching full production capacity of processing 280 000 sheep.