This project aims at enabling Meatco to undertake cattle procurement directly in communities known to have large numbers of cattle for sale. This will empowers farmers who are practically unable to market due to long distances to available loading pens, access to the formal market.
In addition, through this project activities the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) will be in a better position to carry out scheduled annual vaccination campaigns against Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and other scheduled diseases, thus facilitating an increase in the percentage of cattle vaccinated leading to reduced disease risk and safeguarding regional and local marketability of cattle in communal areas. DVS and farmers will also have access to cattle restraining facilities to implement stock branding and animal identification thereby enhancing the cattle traceability policy as enforced by the government. The implementation of the cattle traceability and identification will also help the Namibian police to combat animal theft thereby reducing livestock losses.
The project will be implemented using a concept of public private partnerships as a means of achieving the objectives. To ensure that social issues are taken into consideration for the purpose of sustainability the existing established community structures in the communities working with the Meatco Procurement will be engaged from the beginning and throughout the project.
Stakeholders such as the wider farming community, traditional, farmer Associations and Meat board mentors will be engaged to build knowledge on existing vulnerabilities and livestock management options.
The project is being implemented in Omaheke Region (Helena), and Otjozonjupa Region (Gam). In total 3,000 farmers will benefit from the project and up to 18,000 people will have some sort of exposure to the project. The project will also mainstream gender within the project activities to ensure that Women participation in the project is enhanced.
The objective of the project is to enhance livestock marketing, throughput, and consequently improve farmer income. Which are in line with national policies namely the National Agriculture Policy and the Vision 2030 that is seeking to effectively and sustainably eradicate rural poverty in the Namibia. The objective of this project is to bring forth the rapid increase of livestock marketing throughput for both Meatco and other SMEs in the livestock products business, and increase income of communal farmers through improved accessibility to markets and marketing opportunities.
Improved Livestock Marketing Infrastructure in communal Livestock areas
Inadequate marketing infra-structure is perhaps one of the major obstacles to increased off take and marketing of cattle in the communal areas. The erection of multi-purpose livestock handling facilities in the communal areas will assist in filling the huge gap. These area in communal areas for instance is one of the prime cattle production areas, but access to these farms is hugely restricted due to poor sandy roads and no marketing facilities, making it a daunting task to source animals. These multi-purpose livestock handling facilities will assist these communities in the marketing of their livestock within the walking distance.
Enhancement of cattle marketing information and procurement
Livestock farmers should have access to modern livestock production technologies like planned rangeland management, improved breeding and husbandry practices as well as better supplementary feeding regimes. Current government extension services appear to have limited competence regarding the provision of these services. Through this project these inadequacies will be addressed utilising the experienced mentors (with specialists as well as technical knowledge on Livestock production). To strengthen this and ensure that there is sustainability close cooperation with the current on-going mentorship programmes of the LPF-Meat Board and the Agribank will be sought and strengthened.
Improved herd efficiency in the communal areas
Through this program emphasis will be on ensuring that cattle herds are functionally efficient, healthy, fertile and well adapted. Farmers will be encouraged to apply proper husbandry practices like dehorning, castration, branding, earmarking and record keeping. Selection of superior breeding material and the culling of dysfunctional cattle will receive high priority. There seems to be a high prevalence of venereal diseases that negatively impacts on the reproduction of cattle. The control of these venereal diseases will receive high priority in any cattle herd management calendar.
Increased and enhanced water availability for livestock
Water is an essential element of rural development in the Northern Communal Areas. Grazing patterns, seasonal migration and animal and human productivity are functions of the availability of water. Increasing human and animal populations are causing environmental degradation at some locations where water is available; large areas where water is available only during the wet season are under-utilized. The provision of watering facilities for livestock wills assist these communities in reducing the amount of travel that their livestock spent walking towards the water points. Therefore most of the time will be hence be utilized for grazing thus increasing the livestock quality as desired by the market.
Objective 1: Improved Livestock Marketing Infrastructure in communal Livestock areas
Construct additional multi-purpose crush pens facilities,
Train community members on the maintenance and handling of these facilities
Establish crush pen management committee and handing over
Objective 2: Enhancement of cattle marketing information and procurement
Develop of livestock marketing material
Host farmer days on livestock marketing in the communal areas
Distribution of marketing information and awareness raising on market issues
Hands on training of farmers on the marketing aspects of livestock
Objective 3: Improved herd efficiency in the communal areas
Promote husbandry practices
Promote herd health, including prevention of venereal diseases
Promote improved breeding and selection practices
Objective 4: Increased and enhanced water availability for livestock
Develop watering points partially financed by communities, with beneficiary involvement in planning
Training of communities on Management and maintenance of the facility
Project sustainability will be ensured through the ongoing strengthening of community structures through capacity building and skill transfer. This will ensure sustainability and build safer and resilient communities within the targeted communities in these communal areas.
Partnerships with other institutions, including local authorities, Farmer organizations and the Government Ministry of Agriculture, will ensure that activities are sustained beyond project funding. The involvement of community leadership from the outset will ensures a sense of ownership with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. The project is developed in response to priorities and community needs identified through consultative meetings with these communal areas.