Border reopens for mahangu imports

05 June 2019 | Agriculture

Restrictions on imports of white maize and mahangu, also known as pearl millet, were lifted on Monday.

The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) notified mahangu processors that there has been an insufficient supply of locally produced mahangu since the beginning of May. Therefore, the agriculture ministry lifted the import ban. Mahangu is a subsistence rain-fed cereal crop which is the major staple food for over half of the Namibian population.

The CEO of NAB, Dr Fidels Mwazi, advised processors to apply for import permits at the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) as soon as possible. Namibian Sun reported that Namibia had run out of mahangu for commercial milling purposes. Namib Mills said AMTA had confirmed that it had bought the last70 tonnes of locally produced mahangu. To supply the market demand for its Meme Mahangu brand, Namib Mills needs to mill 11 tonnes of mahangu daily. AMTA had advised that the border was opened for mahangu imports on 18 December last year, but was closed again on 22 January to allow farmers to sell their surplus product from the 2018 harvest. It will take 65 days from the contract date to receive mahangu supplies from India. Mwazi thanked millers for their understanding and support of government initiatives to boost local food production. “The NAB appreciates the usual support from the ministry in the implementation of the Agronomic Industry Act as we strive towards becoming a world-class regulator of a vibrant, diversified and sustainable industry,” said Mwazi.

ELLANIE SMIT

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