NAMIBIA – Namibian government has proposed new regulations to address the high import volumes of dairy, poultry, and pork into the country, as well as to avail breathing space and protection to enable local industries to grow.

The suggested legislative changes were announced by Calle Schlettwein, Namibian minister of Agriculture when he introduced the Livestock and Livestock Product Amendment Bill in parliament.

According to Schlettwein, the inclusion of dairy-related products and poultry-related products in the bill will greatly succor local producers by boosting local production.

“The two sub-sectors [poultry and dairy] are at the brink of collapse as many producers are going out of production due to imports into Namibia,” he said.

Schlettwein added that overreliance on imports has left Namibia at the mercy of other countries over the years, a situation which has seen Namibia being a net importer of food.

The proposed changes, according to him, will enable Namibia to develop its dairy and poultry industries through a pro-growth regulatory framework in line with the Namibia agriculture policy and the growth-at-home strategy.

The growth of local industry competitiveness is a prerequisite for long-term sustainability and to ensure the maximization of consumer-demand needs without obtaining cheaper products elsewhere, the minister said.

He explained that reliance on imports not only presents a food security risk but also has associated economic and financial risks like imported inflation, exchange control, and balance of payment risks, among others.

Savanna Beef offers more shares to producers

Meanwhile, Savanna Beef Processors (SBP), Namibia’s major beef producers has announced a third chance offer to cattle producers to further purchase shares adding that a previous purchase agreement for a building site has been completed.

This was an agreement for the purchase of 25 hectares of land on the farm Teufelsschlucht near Windhoek concluded – subject to conditions, such as shareholders’ approval.

“There is renewed interest among producers to buy more shares. So far, producers have acquired N$173.5 million worth of shares,” SBP said.

“An opportunity will be offered to buy up a further N$26.5 million worth of shares, with the hope that cattle producers can own 100% of the N$200 million share capital,” he said, adding that this would increase SBP’s negotiating power at banks and with other investors.

According to Schneider, in the meantime, hardcore planning has been done on the labelling of the product and access to niche markets for primary cuts, while there have even been negotiations with large, international restaurant chains within Namibia.

He added that SBP has been negotiating with Meatco since February for a marketing initiative where SBP will pay farmers directly in exchange for certain cuts of meat for international marketing.

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