Unions left to hang
As of last week struggling agricultural unions will no longer rely on the Meat Board for funding after the union received instruction to terminate the financing of agricultural unions immediately.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has approved the Meat Board’s budget but without the funding for agricultural unions. As per the instruction of the Minister, the unions will have to fend for themselves. “This imposed enormous problems for the agricultural unions who have heavily relied on these annual contributions from the Meat Board.” The Meat Board’s newsletter, the Meat Chronical said this week.
Various discussions with the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa followed, after which the Minister decided to phase out the contributions of the Meat Board over a period of two years. Since 1989, the Meat Board has been financing the agricultural unions with a budget approved by Mutorwa.
“Personal interaction between the Meat Board and producers was highly successful and appreciated and was experienced very positively by both the producers and the Meat Board and will in future continue on a more regular basis.” The newsletter said.
The current drought and the overall water crisis in Namibia remains critical for the survival of the industry and the several farmers union.
However, with the revised South African import requirements remaining an obstacle for the local livestock sector and lower than predicted rainfalls teetering towards an above average rainfall which might give a more positive outlook on the performance of the sector and of the farmers’ income to fund the unions.