Dairy industry seeks solutions

Agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb met with dairy stakeholders last week to find solutions to halt the total collapse of the industry.

26 February 2020 | Agriculture

Dairy stakeholders recently met with agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb to discuss possible solutions to save the industry.

During the meeting, that took place on 20 February, roleplayers expressed the urgent need for government intervention.

According to the Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU), the meeting with !Naruseb was fruitful and he also expressed his sentiments on the crisis, indicating that there is a need for urgent action. NAU said !Naruseb further indicated that the acute water situation is a priority for government and that the Cabinet committee on water supply is hard at work to impose remedies. The NAU said the dairy industry's appeal requesting emergency interventions from government is therefore well-received.

According to the union, the ministry will internalise the appeal and thereafter it will be tabled with the relevant authorities.

The NAU said the dairy industry submitted several proposals to the agriculture ministry to prevent the total collapse of the industry.

The measures include government subsidies. “A N$1 per litre of raw milk subsidy to registered milk producers is needed to cover increased fodder costs. The country's major challenge is the high cost of fodder, which negatively affects the competitiveness of final products. The feeding cost varies between 70% to 80% of the production cost which is very significant. This will assist producers to keep producing,” said the union.

Another proposal was the passing and implementation of the Control of the Importation and Exportation of Dairy Products and Dairy Product Substitutes Bill and approval of the regulations thereof. “There is a need to fast-track the passing of the bill as well as the formulation of the regulations to restore trust within the industry.”

STAFF REPORTER

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