NAMIBIA – Namibian beef industry has embarked on a trade mission seeking to explore new meat and meat products markets in the Middle East.

According to the Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU) newsletter, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has sent a mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar to explore new markets for Namibia’s meat and meat products.

“This mission offers exciting possibilities for expanding Namibia’s high-quality meat exports, attracting investments and creating more jobs in the country’s livestock industry,” the NAU said.

In its latest issue newsletter, NAU stated that the UAE has emerged as an appealing market for Namibian meat, highlighting that it is however important that the country takes care while selecting meat importers in the region as advised by the Dubai chambers.

“Kuwait consumes the most meat, followed by Saudi Arabia, while the UAE prefers bone-in lamb and goat over beef. Interestingly, the UAE used to import 80% of its meat from Sudan, but due to the political instability there, Namibia now has an opportunity to fill that gap,” the Dubai chamber stated.

In addition, the public non-profit organization stressed the significance of Halal certification for exporting meat to Muslim-dominated countries like the UAE and Qatar.

“These countries have strict standards for halal certification, so obtaining it is vital for Namibia to access these markets.”

The Halal Trade and Marketing Centre has provided valuable guidance on the certification process and has urged Namibia to speed up the certification process to meet the preferences and requirements of the UAE and Qatar markets.

However, does not have a halal certifying body that is recognised by the Gulf countries, therefore the country has to explore alternative options such as using South African halal certifying bodies accepted in the Gulf region.

“While this could facilitate initial exports, Namibia should work towards establishing its own recognised halal certifying body in the long run to sustain the market,” the NAU noted.

Meanwhile, Meatco recorded increased cattle numbers coming through the Windhoek abattoir, resulting in good performances which generated around N$107 million and N$190 million, respectively, in May and June.

The state has also announced that livestock producers are set to benefit from increased revenue and market access as the government nears a groundbreaking meat export agreement with China.

According to the ministry executive director (ED), Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, the export figures fluctuates annually, depending on configuration and if the offer is bone-in or not.

In 2022, approximately 920 tonnes of beef was exported to China. This figure is expected to grow, as more Chinese clients place orders at competitive prices for Namibian beef.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.