Farmers’ Union responds to outcomes of the Economic Summit for Growth
Statement by Mr Ryno van der Merwe, President of the Namibia Agricultural Union.
Economic Summit – The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) wants to sincerely thank the Government of Namibia for the willingness to actively engage the private sector during this week’s Economic Summit for Growth. In the same vain our congratulations to the Economic Panel for organizing a highly successful event.
The creation of real public-private-partnerships is a sustainable way to reduce Government’s liability in non-performing State Owned Enterprises. This will reduce the risk and avail much needed capital to efficiently operate such projects.
In particular we applaud Government’s willingness to suspend the Small Stock Marketing Scheme for 1 year in order to find a sustainable way forward to put the sheep industry back on a growth path, after the 40% reduction in sheep production and hundreds of millions of Namibian Dollars lost to the industry since 2004 due to the implementation of the scheme.
We firmly believe that we need to find a sustainable solution in the interest of Namibia as a whole in collaboration with Government and other stakeholders. Although Cabinet directed that producers should not be disadvantaged to slaughter sheep in Namibia, this never materialized.
The charcoal industry is a growing industry and the decision to allow production of charcoal in communal areas is welcomed to provide opportunities for all producers to earn an additional income during this disastrous drought conditions.
A healthy productive primary agricultural sector in Namibia creates rural jobs and improved livelihoods, curbs rural to urban migration and multiplies job opportunities in the rest of the value chain. However the opposite it also true, that when the primary agricultural production is destroyed, the total value chain, including input supply, processing and marketing, disintegrates.
Caption: Mr Ryno van der Merwe, President of the Namibia Agricultural Union (Image courtesy of Farmers Weekly)