Commercial mahangu crisis

31 May 2019 | Agriculture

Namibia has run out of mahangu for commercial milling purposes, but the country's borders have not been opened for imports, after being closed in January.

According to Pieter van Niekerk, commercial manager of Namib Mills, the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) confirmed to them that they had purchased the last locally available mahangu, about 70 tonnes.

The remainder of the mahangu, Van Niekerk said, was to be reserved for the food relief programme. He told Namibian Sun that to supply the current demand in the market for their Meme Mahangu brand, Namib Mills' needs to mill 11 tonnes of mahangu daily.

“Currently we have five tonnes of mahangu left,” he said, adding that Namib Mills will be out of stock of Meme Mahangu in just over six days. “Letters to this effect have been sent to our clients.”

AMTA had advised that the border was opened for mahangu imports on 18 December last year, but were closed again on 22 January to allow farmers to sell their surplus product from the 2018 harvest season. Agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika announced in a 23 January media statement that the “Namibian Agronomic Board will close the borders for the importation of mahangu until all the available surplus mahangu is marketed”.

To further compound matters, should the borders be opened immediately, it will take another 65 days from the contract date to import mahangu, as it is imported via Namport from India.

Moreover, two SME millers purchase mahangu from Namib Mills, and the company cannot supply their clients at this point, as their factories are idle. Sofia Negonga from Punikwa Agro-Processing in Windhoek, supplies mahangu flour.

“My primary market are residents of informal settlements in Windhoek. We are now threatening our own food security in this time of drought,” she said.

Negonga, who has six full-time employees, told Namibian Sun she would have to retrench three immediately, and if the situation was not rectified soon, she would have to close her business.

She has written to the NAB CEO Fidelis Mwazi, but told Namibian Sun he informed her that the matter was with the agriculture minister.

Van Niekerk also expressed his concern over the crisis and said Namib Mills would lose N$2 million in monthly revenue, adding that “if sanity prevails and the borders are opened soonest for the importation of mahangu, retrenchments are unlikely”.

On 6 May, President Hage Geingob declared the current crippling drought a national disaster, while in March cabinet announced a N$572.7 million drought relief package for 2019 to 2020.

Neither AMTA nor the agriculture ministry had responded to questions at the time of going to print.

YANNA SMITH

Similar News

 

Govt reviews poultry industry protection

3 days ago - 16 September 2019 | Agriculture

A public consultation on the statutory protection of the broiler chicken industry was held in Windhoek on Friday, driven by the ministry of trade. The...

Counting the cost of hunger

6 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Agriculture

Namibia's current nutrition profile threatens the future of the country, seeing that about a quarter of children are stunted.This is according to economic planning minister...

Buffalo still on the cards for Erindi

6 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Agriculture

A fresh appeal will be held to decide whether buffalo may be translocated to the Erindi Private Game Reserve, which will make it the first-ever...

Best practices against beef measles

1 week ago - 11 September 2019 | Agriculture

Beef measles (Cysticercus bovis) is a cause for concern in the livestock industry as it causes losses in foreign markets, such as the European Union,...

Uulingilingi omolwa evi otawu teya po SADC

1 week ago - 06 September 2019 | Agriculture

JEMIMA BEUKES Uulingilingi wa kwatela mo aaniilonga yepangelo, aaleli yopamuthigululwakalo, aakwaniilwa, oombaanga oshowo omahangano omanene oyimwe yomiinima tayi shunitha monima egandjo lyevi kwaayehe nekwatonawa lyevi...

Land corruption haunts SADC

2 weeks ago - 05 September 2019 | Agriculture

Corruption involving civil servants, chiefs, monarchs, banks and corporates, among others, remains a thorn in the flesh in terms of equitable land allocation and management...

Farmers take massive hit

2 weeks ago - 04 September 2019 | Agriculture

The latest crop estimates indicate that total cereal production in Namibia during the 2018/19 season declined by 61%, compared to the previous season, and is...

Hydroponics offer glimmer of hope

2 weeks ago - 04 September 2019 | Agriculture

The cost of supplementary feed can be exorbitant and strenuous on a farmer's pocket, however, Agritech Namibia believes hydroponically produced fodder is the answer farmers...

Low-risk FMD areas the focus

2 weeks ago - 03 September 2019 | Agriculture

Resources from the fencing of the Namibian-Angolan border in an effort to eliminate foot-and mouth disease (FMD) in the northern communal areas (NCAs) should be...

FMD outbreak in Zambezi

2 weeks ago - 03 September 2019 | Agriculture

An outbreak of the viral foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has been detected in the Zambezi Region but it remains contained in a small area.The agriculture ministry's...

Latest News

Oshakati hospital rundown, understaffed

16 hours ago | Health

The 750-bed Oshakati Intermediary Hospital, which serves close to a million patients a year, is operating without a paediatrician, neonatologist, neurosurgeon, dietician, clinical psychologist and...

Roar young lions, roar!

16 hours ago | Columns

Youth without a consistent voice are inevitably excluded from the pockets of power that exist throughout societies.Youth who become praise-singers and imbongis, even when they...

Teko trio walk free

16 hours ago | Justice

Teckla Lameck, Jerobeam Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yang Fang, known as the Teko trio, have been found not guilty of all charges relating to a...

'He decided to flee'

16 hours ago | Crime

Defence minister Penda Ya Ndakolo says Benisius Kalola (32), the second unarmed civilian killed during Operation Kalahari Desert this year, was shot when he fled...

280 cops deployed against poachers

16 hours ago | Crime

The Namibian police have deployed 280 members to assist in the fight against poaching.Inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga says these members, selected from across the country, are...

Uanivi gets Warriors chance

16 hours ago | Sports

African Stars veteran defender Pat-Navin Uanivi has finally been selected for the national team after years of being omitted. Uanivi forms part of Brave Warriors...

Horn suspended for alleged doping

16 hours ago | Sports

South African women's 100m record holder Carina Horn has been suspended from competition over doping allegations.The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Monday: “The AIU...

'Hitman' faces tough brawl

16 hours ago | Sports

Former two-time world champion Paulus 'Hitman' Moses is set for tough night, as he not only faces Russia's Adlan Aburashidov, but also the home-ground advantage...

Loubser ready to get his...

16 hours ago | Sports

Four years ago, Cliven Loubser was inspired after watching his native Namibia score a try against New Zealand and earn their first Rugby World Cup...

Load More