Namib Mills gives clarity on shortage of silo facilities
Namibian farmers harvested a record maize crop of nearly 69,000 tons this year and this intake has caused logistical problems as commercial millers do not have adequate storage/ silo facilities available to store their total requirement, according to Namibia Mills..
Ashanti Manetti, Public Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility and Stakeholder Officer at Namib Mills said that commercial millers are obliged to buy their ‘fair share’ – a percentage determined by the Namibian Agronomic Board. The current crop of approximately 69,000 tons, exceeds the long term average of roughly 60 000 tons by 15%.
“Millers are not allowed to exceed their ‘fair share’ by more than 10% in order to allow all millers to be able to obtain maize to mill and to ensure a level playing field and fair competition amongst millers,” she said.
Furthermore she said a contributing factor to the pressure on shortage of storage space at commercial millers is the fact that the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) this year bought a limited volume of the Green Scheme maize for strategic reserves.
In the country, maize and Mahangu are both among the ‘controlled products that the Namibian Agronomic Board exercises strict border control over by means of AMTA.
Maize can only be imported after all local grain has been bought and partially milled. No maize meal is allowed to be imported into the country at any stage.
“At the same time, the Mahangu crop was also outstanding. Mahangu consumption has a direct influence on maize meal sales, which have recently drastically reduced in Northern Namibia, in turn reducing the maize tonnage being milled at present. Therefore, in order to secure the national harvest, Namib Mills has obtained and prepared additional land to store the seasonal/regional over-supply on behalf of the farmer, in giant 170-ton silo bags,” Manetti added.
Maize is weighed and graded at the point of intake and thereafter stored on behalf of the producer. Ownership of stored maize is underpinned by a Silo Certificate issued by Namib Mills to the legal owner of the stored maize.
Silo certificates ensure that the producer’s volume and grade of the stock is maintained throughout the period of storage. Stored maize is at any time available for sale by the legal owner to any interested party.
“Rates charged for handling and storage in silo bags are in accordance with the White Maize Marketing Agreement-2017 between producers and millers. It is important to Namib Mills to not only focus on quality products and excellent customer service but also to live in accordance with our values of honesty and transparency to all our valued stakeholders, in order to work towards a better future for all,” Manetti concluded.