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

 

Meatco works towards inclusivity

9 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKMeatco hosted a stakeholder engagement meeting with mainly weekend farmers and members of the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) last week.These farmers are...

Meat industry players meet

9 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe Meatco board last week paid a courtesy visit to the Meat Board of Namibia to discuss how to address crucial matters hampering the...

Keep your chickens healthy

1 week ago - 16 September 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKPoultry farmers are advised to prevent the spread of diseases on their farms in order to ensure a sustainable income stream.This is according to...

Know your summer vegetables

1 week ago - 16 September 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKSummer is approaching fast, and this is an opportune time for farmers to get ready to cultivate vegetables. Agribank's technical advisor for...

Ministry shuns shipping plan

1 week ago - 15 September 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe agriculture ministry has distanced itself from a proposed plan that would have seen thousands of livestock being shipped to the Middle East...

Agribank rolls out production stimulus loans

1 week ago - 14 September 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKClients will soon be able to apply for production loans at Agribank as part of its coronavirus relief stimulus package. It announced the...

Storm erupts over plan to ship live animals

2 weeks ago - 09 September 2020 | Agriculture

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEK Nearly 1 000 people have signed a petition demanding a stop to a proposed plan that will see about 125 000...

Meat sector wants to increase contribution to GDP

2 weeks ago - 09 September 2020 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe Meat Board of Namibia delivered a presentation at the first virtual agricultural conference in Namibia last week dealing with the environment, challenges and...

Cattle marketing plunges dramatically

2 weeks ago - 07 September 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe marketing of cattle has decreased by almost 50% during the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2019, following...

Agriculture 'paradigm shift' needed

2 weeks ago - 04 September 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia must ensure it is shockproof against the coronavirus pandemic, global warming, as well as other forces that can negatively affect the performance of...

Latest News

The evil that men do

9 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKESREHOBOTH The mother of two-week-old Charmaine Moss, who died after allegedly being raped by her father, has revealed shocking details about what had transpired...

Death of football further divides...

9 hours ago | Opinion

At the time when Namibians are angry at so many things – Covid-19, high unemployment rates and general levels of poverty – sport is the...

IPC dissident opens case against...

9 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) outcast Henry Ngenomesho has opened a case of assault by threat against party president Dr...

Antipsychotic drugs back in stock

9 hours ago | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI After being out of stock for six months, the country has finally received antipsychotic and antidepressant medication....

Meatco works towards inclusivity

9 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKMeatco hosted a stakeholder engagement meeting with mainly weekend farmers and members of the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) last week.These farmers are...

Meat industry players meet

9 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe Meatco board last week paid a courtesy visit to the Meat Board of Namibia to discuss how to address crucial matters hampering the...

Breaking the stigma of dementia

9 hours ago | Health

ERWIN LEUSCHNERSWAKOPMUNDSwakopmund's Alzheimer Dementia Namibia (ADN) Centre is the only one of its kind in the country. Here around two dozen people are cared for...

Horrendous abortion

9 hours ago | Opinion

Modestus H We cannot live in the present without the past; we have to link them together. In the past, abortion was not as...

A seatbelt can save your...

9 hours ago | Opinion

FABIAN AMUKWELELEIn highly motorised countries, many deaths have been prevented by seatbelts. Yet, seatbelt compliance remains worryingly low in those countries, including Namibia, where vehicle...

Load More