Pork industry shows growth
18 November 2021 | Agriculture
Pork production in Namibia has never been a mainstream farming sector, yet it contributed N$133 million to the GDP last year.
According to the Namibia Agriculture Union, this year the sector will be worth even more, since the N$113 million mark had already been reached by the end of August.
The union said the data for September and October was not available yet, while there are still two more months left until the end of the year.
This constitutes a 20.4% increase over the same period compared to 2020. The reason for this is the ceiling price for the year, which was N$33.64 for 2020 compared to N$37.87 for 2021.
According to the NAU, slaughtering figures for the year were stable compared to 2020, with 33 429 pigs slaughtered in 2020 versus 33 322 in 2021 over the same period - reflecting a 0.3% decline.
“Carcass imports made up 64% versus 36% locally produced and the biggest exporting country is still South Africa with 69% sourced from there, with Europe supplying 21% and other countries such as Canada and the UK supplying 10%.”
The union said that after the drought, farmers are diversifying and pig production is increasing on small-scale farms.
It said even though no official figures are available, the informal trade in pork has increased over the last few years.
“Unfortunately, commercial pig farming is very demanding and the profit margins are quite low, therefore a number of the small farmers are on the verge of bankruptcy due to the current economic environment and the major cause is the exorbitant cost of feed.”
All indications are that maize and soya will stay expensive for the next year since the world demand has not slowed down, with China still the biggest buyer, the union added.
The absence of a certified pig slaughter facility near Windhoek makes it difficult for producers in the central area of the country to enter the formal market.
Currently the only options are Mariental and Tsumeb, leaving a financial impact on the bottom line of the producers.
There have been no new outbreaks of African swine fever in Namibia over the last six months.
The disease is a huge problem in South Africa and is especially rife in the Cape. Producers are suffering losses since there is no vaccine or treatment and the mortality rate on farms can be as high as 95 to 100%.
Fortunately, none of the compartments have been infected up to date since they are the exporters on which we rely to produce our shortfall.
The Pork Marketing Scheme has been the saviour of the pork sector in Namibia and they hope that the incentive will keep growing the sector so that ultimately, they can be self-sufficient and not be reliant on imports in future.