Red Line can go - Alweendo

The economic planning minister has called for a border fence between Namibia and Angola to prevent the spread of animal diseases and allow the removal of the veterinary cordon fence further south.

12 October 2017 | Agriculture

A new approach is needed to allow the removal of the veterinary cordon fence as a way of incorporating all Namibians into the mainstream economy, says economic planning minister Tom Alweendo.

“To achieve disease-free status, there is a need to expedite the erection of a fence on the northern border to eliminate the pockets of infection in the livestock populations in the Northern Communal Areas,” Alweendo said in a speech read on his behalf by deputy minister Lucia Iipumbu at the annual congress of the Namibia Agricultural Union.

Alweendo said the removal of the veterinary cordon fence also known as the Red Line, needed to be handled carefully and in a responsible manner considering the fact that it ensures control over sporadic outbreaks of diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.

He emphasised the need to ensure that Namibia's laws, regulations, and inspection regime are of a world-class standard to avoid disrupting Namibia's exports to external markets if the fence is removed.

According to him, access to markets, together with land tenure security, has been one of the biggest barriers to upward mobility for many communal farmers.

He said the communal farming in the northern communal area directly sustains the livelihoods of close to half of Namibia's population, and remains their main source of household income.

“With such a high density of the population in the northern communal area dependent on communal farming, there is a real need to turn rural areas into commercially viable zones,” he said.

According to him, for rural development to take hold, the transition from communal farming towards commercial production will eventually be determined by access to markets.

Alweendo said the Namibian economy is highly dependent on agriculture, from the employment it generates and its contribution to GDP.

“Although in Namibia agriculture contributes only about 4% to GDP, the sector remains one of the most important and strategic sectors employing over a third of the workforce.”

Due to agriculture's strategic importance in addressing food security and improving livelihoods, the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) emphasises the need to increase productivity in agriculture, especially for smallholder farmers.

“It is our belief that smallholder and communal farmers have an important role to play in enhancing food production and ensuring food security.”

Increased production from smallholder farmers will create opportunities for value addition, income generation and the development of agro-business, said Alweendo.

Government and all stakeholders must strengthen agricultural extension services to smallholder and communal farmers by ensuring supportive infrastructure for small-scale farmers including increased access to markets, access to credit; quality control support and better seeds. Furthermore, Green Scheme projects should also be expanded.

One of the strategies the government will employ to support smallholder and communal farmers will be through the procurement of locally sourced produce in bulk for prisons, army barracks, hospitals and schools.

The government's procurement system will also be used to favour local producers.



ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

NAB appoints new CEO

17 hours ago | Agriculture

The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) has announced the appointment of Dr Fidelis Nyambe Mwazi as its newly appointed CEO. Mwazi takes over the reins from...

Seed bill could limit imports and exports

17 hours ago | Agriculture

The Seed and Seed Varieties Bill, expected to be adopted by the National Assembly, could limit the importing and exporting of seeds, finance minister Calle...

Weaner exports defended

1 week ago - 11 July 2018 | Agriculture

The Namibian Agricultural Union has dismissed reports that that the export of weaners to South Africa has a negative impact on the economy. This follows...

Exotic birds under the hammer at Otjiwarongo

1 week ago - 11 July 2018 | Agriculture

Agra's bird and poultry auction which was held at the end of June in Otjiwarongo attracted great interest, with a total of 40 people registered....

Beef exports to US kick off

1 week ago - 11 July 2018 | Agriculture

Namibia will at the end of this month become the first country in Africa to export its beef to the lucrative United States market. This...

Illegal sub-letting of resettlement farms a concern

2 weeks ago - 04 July 2018 | Agriculture

Oshikoto regional governor Henock Kankoshi is concerned by resettled farmers in his region who are sub-letting their farms to others without following the law and...

Savings of 70% with Tree Hog

2 weeks ago - 04 July 2018 | Agriculture

Tree Hog can cut an orchard's water consumption by up to 70%, with minimum savings starting at 50%, says its inventor Louis Loubser, a farmer...

Farmers must secure clearances

2 weeks ago - 04 July 2018 | Agriculture

The environment ministry will not pay for damage caused by wild animals to farms and projects in wildlife-prone areas that do not have the required...

Slaughter numbers plummet

3 weeks ago - 27 June 2018 | Agriculture

A restructuring is on the cards for Meatco due to the continued low numbers of cattle it is receiving from commercial farmers. A record...

Farmers lash Meatco bosses

3 weeks ago - 27 June 2018 | Agriculture

Meatco producers are fed-up with the company's deteriorating financial situation under the leadership of the current board and have given them six months to sort...

Latest News

Calle urges parties to account

17 hours ago | Economics

NDAMA NAKASHOLEFinance minister Calle Schlettwein has urged each political party to remain accountable to the public in regard to the public funds it receives.The figures...

Rest easy, gentle giant

17 hours ago | Opinion

The late Theo-Ben Gurirab was without an iota of doubt a gentle giant, whose life was lived in service and dedication to Namibia's struggle for...

Dangote signs US$650mln Afreximbank loan

17 hours ago | Economics

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has signed a US$650 million loan facility with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for his oil refinery project in Nigeria.Africa’s...

New revenue agency operational by...

17 hours ago | Government

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein is optimistic that the much-anticipated Namibia Revenue Agency will be operational come 1 March 2019. This will coincide with the start...

Dippenaar blames Joschko for crash

17 hours ago | Justice

Jandré Dippenaar has placed the blame for a crash in which six people died squarely on the shoulders of Markus Walter Joschko, who was also...

CIF, NSI highlight criticality of...

17 hours ago | Economics

STAFF REPORTERAn efficient use of scarce financial resources both in the public and private sector demands an awareness and application of building standards and adherence...

Ramaphosa talks tough on mine...

17 hours ago | Economics

Safety is a huge issue in South Africa’s deep and dangerous mines and increasingly a focus for investors. A spate of deaths at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold...

NAB appoints new CEO

17 hours ago | Agriculture

The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) has announced the appointment of Dr Fidelis Nyambe Mwazi as its newly appointed CEO. Mwazi takes over the reins from...

Seed bill could limit imports...

17 hours ago | Agriculture

The Seed and Seed Varieties Bill, expected to be adopted by the National Assembly, could limit the importing and exporting of seeds, finance minister Calle...

Load More