MEC of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Nomakhosazana Meth has welcomed the second live export of 63 000 sheep from the Eastern Cape to the Middle East.
Ms. Meth visited and toured the Al Mawashi feedlot outside Berlin with media, animal welfare groups and veterinarians ahead of the arrival of the Al Messilah livestock carrier in the Port of East London this Wednesday.
“The Province has identified the export market as an opportunity and the Al Mawashi development is central. The ECDC, our provincial development corporation mandated for investment and trade promotion has done excellently in bringing this deal to our shores.
“We embrace this trade opportunity with both hands and commit to ensure that it is sustained for the province and the Middle East at large.
The MEC continued: “the Provincial Agro Industry Development Programme focusses on building local value chains taking advantage of our competitiveness and comparativeness for the export market.
“The participation of both the established commercial farmers and developing farmers augers well with the inclusive economic development agenda of the province. The Red Meat Industry value chain remains a priority and we see opportunities in the feed production, livestock transport, market responsive animal production and breeding programmes”.
Mr. Ilyaas Ally, Managing Director for Al Mawashi South Africa said the company was celebrating its first year of operations and trading in South Africa.
Ally said: “We must guard against the encroachment of narratives that do not fully understand or appreciate the potential of the live export industry as a catalytic driver for socio-economic development and a more inclusive agricultural economy in the Eastern Cape.
“Al Mawashi not only adheres to but exceeds all the standards and regulations for animal welfare and protection established by the World Organisation for Animal Health. The export of animals across the ocean on livestock carriers is in no way unlawful or illegal.
“The shipping of livestock is done in a very, very humane way”.
In the last shipment, during which Al Mawashi transported sheep from the Port of East London, the company exceeded all animal welfare and protection standards enshrined.
For example, the company achieved a 0,7% mortality rate. The international standard and benchmark is between 1 – 2%.
Ally said this was Al Mawashi South Africa’s second shipment of animals to the Middle East.
“We believe, that we can contribute in a positive way to the economy of the Eastern Cape and South Africa. We are aiming to build a business that will turn-over R1,5 billion per annum,” Ally concluded.
Image: HEALTHY AND READY TO GO: Dr. Vusi Rozani, Provincial State Veterinarian and Nomakhosazana Meth, the Eastern Cape’s MEC of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform.