Alcohol restrictions impact dairy production

With the alcohol industry shutdown due to government's coronavirus state of emergency regulations, other industries, like the dairy sector, are suffering.

20 May 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Dairy production in Namibia declined by 20% in April compared to figures from last year.

A major factor contributing to this decline is the lack of grain, a by-product of beer, following the alcohol industry's shutdown due to the coronavirus state of emergency regulations. The Dairy Producers Association last week held a meeting to discuss the impact of the pandemic and the outlook on the industry. According to the Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU), while milk production has declined over the past year, the drastic decline over the past two months can be attributed directly to the impact of the virus.



Grim figures

Comparing figures from this April to April 2019 shows a decline from 1.750 million litres of milk to 1.399 million litres, amounting to a 20% decrease. “A major contributing element is the non-availability of spent grain, a by-product of beer sourced from the Namibian Breweries, which producers have been using as a primary source for feed for milking cows,” said the NAU.

However, the union said a positive aspect is that stakeholders are keen to collaborate and collectively work towards measures to effectively sustain the industry.

One such initiative is a cost-cutting measure where FeedMaster will look at creating a concentrate which leaves room for producers to add their choice of by-product.

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