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Little Room for Growth in Fish Production – Economists

By:Justicia Shipena
Namibia is expected to see little real growth in fish production according to an agriculture report released by the financial analyst agency Simonis Storm.
The report states that the value of fish exports decreased by 10.9% year on year in August 2022.
However, monthly fish exports increased by 8.8% month-on-month in August 2022, compared to -27.9%month-on-month in July 2022.
“Instead, we see improved processing and value addition activity taking place in the sector as discussed in previous reports. However, this will reflect in the manufacturing sector’s GDP growth figures,” says the report.
The value of fish exports is marginally below the value of exports recorded in the same period last year.
In addition, the sub-sector is expected to expand by 2.2% over the next three years according to an average of local forecasts.
On local livestock slaughtering, the report says it remained on a downward trend since April 2022.
“Where cattle slaughtering decreased by 23.8% year-on-year, sheep by 14.0% year-on-year, goats by 96.0% and pigs by 2.9% in September 2022.”
Meanwhile, live exports are still higher compared to exports a year ago.
Cattle exports decreased by 34.5% year-on-year, sheep increased by 48.9% and goats by 33.39% year-on-year in September 2022.
According to the Meat Board, the ban on livestock movement in neighboring South Africa during the third quarter also put a dent in the performance of live exports at a time when demand from feedlots for the festive season was high.
The report further said globally, livestock prices are on a downward trend due to reduced demand from China.
This, economists say, has created a stockpile in various parts of the world and could further weigh on prices for the remainder of 2022.
“Prices have also decreased in Australia, Brazil, and the EU. This should assist in lowering food price inflation in Namibia during the fourth quarter of 2022,” Simonis Storm says.
In this vein, the report shows that the restriction on horticultural product is indicative of local supply being sufficient to meet local demand for certain products, specifically carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.
It remains to be seen whether this time round all crop-growing areas in the northern part of Namibia will receive sufficient rain at the right time, the report says.
Sporadic rain that led to late, insufficient, or excessive rain in various parts of the North has negatively impacted crop production.
In addition, the agriculture sector recorded 3.0% and 1.6 percent growth in the first and second quarters of 2022.
“Lagging far behind overall GDP growth rates of 6.5% and 5.6% in the same quarters. The slowdown in the sector was due to all sub-sectors recording lower growth rates in 2Q2022, however, crop and fishing contributed most to the overall slowdown,” said the report.
According to the latest available Labour Force Survey from 2018, the agriculture sector accounts for 10.1% of GDP in the first half of 2022 and employs about 23.0% of all employed Namibians.
Meanwhile, the sector is forecast to expand by 2.7% over the next three years.

Justicia Shipena

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