NAMIBIA – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform in Namibia is set to continue its dairy value chain development scheme initiated last year, aimed at supporting farmers, including commercial producers.

The subsidy program, with funds already allocated to regional councils, is prepared for implementation by the end of next month according to the Namibian Agricultural Union(NAU).

Initially confirmed in the Omaheke, Hardap, and Otjozondjupa regions, the initiative, will be evaluated in March to determine its success.

Jona Musheko, the ministry spokesperson, confirmed that around N$5 million was allocated last year, and the government would decide on this year’s budget based on the program’s performance.

Jona added that the funds are expected to assist approximately 10 to 15 farmers, depending on the items to be procured.

Farmers seeking assistance need to provide quotations from suppliers, and the ministry will calculate subsidies accordingly,” he noted.

The scheme, guided by implementation guidelines issued by Agriculture Executive Director Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, aims to foster a modern and self-sustaining dairy industry, encompassing small, medium, and large-scale producers.

Targeting communal, resettled, peri-urban, and commercial dairy producers, the ministry aims to support about 45 farmers this year.

Nghituwamata emphasized the scheme’s potential to make Namibia self-sufficient in milk and dairy products through industry modernization.

“The envisioned model involves organizing producers into cooperatives or associations, enabling them to collect, process, and directly market their milk and dairy products to formal markets,” he said.

“The scheme aims to establish linkages between formal milk producers and domestic markets, ensuring year-round sustained milk supply, developing a functional milk cold chain system, and promoting value addition and skills development in Namibia’s dairy industry.”

According to NAU, the initiative is a crucial step in addressing challenges faced by farmers, including high production costs against low milk prices, fostering self-sufficiency, and reducing reliance on imports.

“As the government continues to prioritize the dairy sector’s revitalization, the scheme aligns with broader goals of stimulating production, creating sustainable supply chains, and fostering economic development in the agricultural sector.”

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