Tough times ahead for local dairy industry anticipated – Agriculture Union
The local dairy industry is in a predicament and if the current trend persists, jobs will be lost and this will have negative impact on the economy at large according to the Namibian Agricultural Union.
The Union which recently released its first quarter review report, said that the dairy industry is in dire need of support, stressing that the small industry has no government support leaving it vulnerable and barely able to compete with large South African dairy industries.
“In the last 12 years the price-cost squeeze of dairy producers stood at 0.98% per annum, and high increases in total expenses accompanied by minimal increases or no changes in farm-gate prices negatively affect producer income,” the Union stated.
According to the report, comparing 2018 first quarter prices to this year’s first quarter prices, feed costs increased by 32.8% year-on-year, fuel prices increased by 4.5% year-on-year and labour increased by 3.6% year-on-year, and all these expense items permitted total expenses to increase by 23% year-on-year, whereas, there was no change in farm-gate prices of milk.
The Union also raised concerns around the current low level of water in the Hardap dam which is affecting fodder production, a key component in dairy production for optimal milk quantities.