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Namibia becomes first African country to export red meat to U.S. market

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NAMIBIA has become the first African country to export red meat to Philadelphia, the United States after it exported 25 tonnes of beef two decades after series of discussions and haggling over safety regulations and logistics.

Reuters reported that the southern African nation, known for free-range, hormone-free beef, is set to export 860 tonnes of various beef cuts in 2020 to the United States, which is expected to rise to 5,000 tonnes by 2025.

Americans consume on average 120 kgs of meat per person, making it world’s top red meat consumers according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Hence, meat exports to the country have since become a prime target.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Namibia’s minister of international relations, on Wednesday said announced the achievement of the milestone. The minister said that the ability of the African country to export meat to the lucrative and big U.S. market was a huge step in the economic growth of Namibia.

The target would be the massive U.S. fast-food industry and franchises like McDonald’s, the minister said.

The shipment is the first commercial consignment after samples were sent in the past 24 months to U.S. laboratories for tests.

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Under the deal, exports will include boneless, raw beef cuts in frozen or chilled form.

Agriculture contributes about 5% to Namibia’s economy but farming including cattle rising contributes to nearly two-thirds of the population’s income.

In 2019, Namibia exported about 12,400 metric tonnes of meat to Norway, Britain, the European Union, and Chinese markets.

“Namibia will benefit economically from tapping into the largest consumer market with the purchasing power of $13 trillion, and U.S. consumers will benefit from access to Namibia’s high-quality, free-range, grass-fed beef,” U.S. ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, said.

Namibia’s exports will also benefit from a duty-free regime under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

 

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