Agri essential services identified

The new agriculture minister and the NAU have agreed on specific rules for the sector during the coronavirus state of emergency.

30 March 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



A list of 19 specific services has been submitted by the agriculture ministry for classification as essential services, including auctions, abattoirs and feed.

Charcoal production has not been accepted as an essential service, which means that although farmers can continue producing charcoal on the farm, they will not be able to transport or export it.

Auctions are only for selling animals and no socialising will be allowed.

This was decided last week at a meeting between several members of the management committee of the Namibian Agriculture Union (NAU) with newly appointed agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein.

The meeting was held to get clarity on specific rules for agriculture during the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the NAU agriculture in broad had already been accepted as an essential service.

“As introduction Schlettwein said that Namibia will not be able to control and manage an outbreak of the coronavirus, should it continue as in other countries. We thus ask the cooperation of all our members to act responsible in this crisis,” the union said.



Choose your home

The NAU said the families of farmers will have to decide where they want to stay during the lockdown, be it either on the farm or in town, because families will not be allowed to travel.

“Thus, only one person per vehicle is allowed to move between the farm and town and only if they have good reason, which they will have to give to the roadblock.”

For example, moving cattle from one camp to another on the same farm will not be a good reason, as a farmer can give such instructions by telephone.

The NAU said if third parties, such as service providers, need to visit farms, a third-party form must be completed where the farmers confirm that they urgently need these services.

The same form can also be used if farmers send a family member or worker to do work for them.

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