The National Emergent Redmeat Producers Organisation (Nerpo) has expressed concern over the implementation of the adjusted level 4 of the lockdown regulations with regards to the suspension of the livestock auctions.
In terms of the regulations published by President Cyril Ramaphosa, it only refers to auctions and does not necessarily indicate or specify if it excludes livestock and only applies to fixed property.
According to the Acting CEO of NERPO Dr Florence Nherera- Chokuda, auctions constitute an integral part of food security and the emerging livestock farmers are an integral component and forms the base of this value chain. The livelihoods of smallholder farmers are dependent on periodic marketing of livestock, hence abrupt interruptions in the markets have a direct impact on their wellbeing and affects the entire red meat value chain, including retailing of meat products.
Consultations with key stakeholders and the relevant authorities are underway to mitigate the impact of the suspension of the auction. We therefore appeal to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza to support the mitigation process.
“We are not challenging this suspension, but appealing for a review as the agriculture and food industries provide essential services-supporting our daily food needs. NERPO supports the adjusted level 4 regulations and encourage the farming community to continue applying and even improve the application of biosecurity best practices through all production and marketing platforms, for safe and healthy food supply”. She concluded.