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The ‘Red-Line’ must stay

Dear sir,
We know that our country suffers because some of our parliamentarians are ignorant on certain matters. But that our president is ignorant about the function and importance of the so-called ‘Red-Line’ is really surprising. Was this issue not discussed many times in public and cabinet? Is Oom Lukas suffering from dementia? Or is it the ‘mad-cow disease’?
The ‘Red-line’ guarantees Namibia an export market for its red meat. Take it away and this market will certainly disappear almost overnight. Not a single country that can afford to buy our meat at its present premium price will allow us to sell our meat within its borders. We are bordering areas and countries which are prone to regular outbreaks of contagious animal diseases. We know what happens if these diseases spread to a country – the President must have advisers who should have told him about the consequences long ago. The Foot and Mouth disease is one.
On the other hand, if his ‘ignorance’ is a political ‘tool’ to please the northern farmers, he has to be warned, because then he is playing with ‘fire’. It is not right to do so; it is dishonest. He may stir up hope for the northern stock farmers while there is no hope for the near or mid-term future. The only alternative will be to fence off the northern areas against any intruding animals, wild or domestic, small or big, from the neighboring countries and that is almost impossible. As long as there is the slightest possibility that our national live-stock could be in danger, the fence has to stay and we have to maintain it!
The on average lower price/kg the northern farmer often receives, is due to lack of quality of the product alone. The farmers have to be educated on the matter to enable them to change their production methods. This is the only way to go and Oom Lukas himself has to tell that to them.
Claus-Adam Zuckmayer jun.
Otjozondjupa region

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