The struggle continues for local dairy producers

The storm has not yet cleared out for Namibia’s dairy producers and representatives of their association (DPA) and the Milk Processors again negotiated a further reduction in producer prices last week.

They reported that the situation of the processor is critical and everything conceivable is done to save costs.

Information cascading through the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) is that the producer's situation does not look positive either, and a possible price reduction (which will be the third reduction in several months) will force producers on their knees.

Due to the flood of cheap milk from South Africa and the crushing economy, dairy producers in Namibia cannot expand their herds and grow domestic production.

It has been suggested that the draft law governing the import and export of dairy and dairy products must be discussed in parliament this year and all eyes and hope are aimed at saving the dairy industry in Namibia.

The DPA thanked the processor for the transparent manner in which the situation is being handled and the good communication that exists between the two parties.

Meanwhile, on other agricultural news, the Agricultural Producers' Association (APA) held their member meeting in Summerdown a few days ago as well as the Master Agronomist information day. “The day was attended very well and the Summerdown Farmers Association, who acted as a host for the day, did a great job, well done!” says NAU. During the meeting, a thorough open discussion took place about the price mechanism of maize and how to re-align the relative price with the market. Certain proposals have been made and the matter will be taken by regional representatives to their members for a decision later this year, said NAU. The system of intake was also discussed and Namib Mills will come up with a written proposal in this regard. Speakers for the day were GP Schoeman of Agrisol SA, Hannes Otto, a successful farmer in the Ottosdal area in South Africa as well as Dries Strauss of Paratus while Elize van Niekerk, Master Agronomist 2018, gave her presentation. The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Alpheus !Naruseb also introduced the ministerial Strategic Plan for 2018/22 to all role players last week. According to the minister, this strategy focuses on development interventions which the ministry will undertake in the next 5 years in order to implement with regard to Vision 2030, the SWAPO Manifesto 2014 and NDP5. The five main themes of the strategies are sustainable livestock and forestry management, food production, value chain development, water infrastructure and operational excellence.