NAMIBIA – Namibian dairy sector has seen the potential for drastic growth despite a number of challenges faced over the years, including a drop in participating farmers and raw milk production.

Although the production of raw milk in the country dropped from 23.9 million litres in 2018 to 15.0 million litres in 2021, the sector has stabilised in 2022 with a 3,8% increase in volume from 2021, according to the Dairy Producers Association.

“An improvement in raw milk production together with a price increase towards the end of last year, which is reflected in the fourth quarter of 2022 as a 5.2% increase year-on-year, has pushed production value by 5.3%,” DPA said.

“As a result the estimated production value increased from N$93.7 million to N$98,6 million. The sector has the potential to grow, however, ensuring sustainable growth is essential.”

Namibian Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani noted that the dairy industry is pivotal in creating job opportunities and promoting sustainable development, both of which contribute significantly to the nation’s progress.

Venaani also noted that the Namibian dairy sector is currently battling to survive, with production decreasing and the price-cost squeeze forcing producers to exit the sector.

Earlier this year, the Namibian government proposed new regulations to address the high import volumes of dairy into the country, as well as to avail breathing space and protection to enable local industries to grow.

According to the Namibian press, the dairy sector in Namibia could be on the verge of collapse if protective measures are not introduced.

Speaking at a public consultation convened by the Namibian Ministry of Trade and Industry to discuss possible quantitative restrictions on dairy imports under the Import and Export Act, the DPA stated that creameries in all major towns had been closed.

A sector review undertaken by the Namibia Trade Forum found that retail shops get the highest margins on dairy products, with farmers receiving a substantially smaller share of the sale price.

Namibia Dairies representatives gave public assurances at the consultation that if quantitative restrictions were introduced, they would maintain reasonable pricing structures.  

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