Average staple food production over the past five years increases amid climate change, pest outbreaks
The average production of staple food has improved over the past five years by 13% from 161,294 tonnes to 203,508 tonnes, despite the impact of climate variability and pests outbreak, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Carl Schlettwein said this week.
By quarter 3 of 2021 the GDP contribution of the agricultural sector grew by 5.9%, Schlettwein said in a statement at a workshop held on Monday on the new strategic plan for the ministry for the next five years.
“At the same time, the country managed to control the outbreak of animal diseases and pests in order to enhance animal and plant health, particularly against the priority common infectious diseases like rabies, anthrax and combating the new serotype 0 of Foot and Mouth Disease in the Zambezi Region,” he added.
According to Schlettwein, Namibia is the only country on the continent with market access for beef to the EU, China, the USA, and SADC.
“It is on account of maintaining quality standards that Namibia has retained its access to the best paying lucrative markets for livestock and crop products regionally and globally,” he said, adding that the percentage of domestic market share of local agricultural produce, specifically horticulture products, increased from 3% in 2017/18 to 47% by 2021/22.
Schlettwein meanwhile said increased local procurement promises to further boost domestic productive capacity and income generation, and the ministry has scaled up the production of foundation and certified seeds through the research initiatives at various ministerial research stations.