In a meeting held by the Namibia National Farmer’s Union, and its industry partners yesterday, NNFU said it’s members expectations were not met.
According to NNFU President Tobias Emvula, lack of access to functional lucrative markets in the Northern Communal Areas (NCA) has crippled families and the rural house hold within NCA regions.
He says, access to domestic markets have played a crucial role in helping farmers to generate income for a living and to take their children to school, access to markets is a motivational factor and is an incentive for the farmers to engage actively in agricultural production. The Food and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak remains a greatest challenge within the NCA regions as farmers did not have access to markets for the last one year.
"The reality is that all the abattoirs are not open for business. Meatco which is certified to operate the abattoirs as per agreement between the Ministry and Meatco, is not operating the abattoirs. Farmers in the NCA regions cannot market animals. Hence NNFU takes note of the past year as reported but what we are concerned about is the untimely exit at a time after outbreak when markets are needed the most,” Emvula said.
He added while we take note of loses made in continuing doing business in the NCA not been viable, we would like to call upon Meatco to continue fulfilling its responsibilities as per the act.
They are requesting for a smooth succession strategy that won’t hinder the functionalism of the rural agriculture Another stumbling block is the meat industry act of 1981, the act has lost its relevance. It is serving a society with its dynamics that is long gone, we call upon our ministry to urgently facilitate the process of reviewing the meat industry act. It is not responsive to contemporary challenges of the day. 35 year is too long, the act is incongruent to the aspiration of the united farmers. “We also proposing that since we are a net exporter of beef we should not be importing into the country so that the priority could be for local produced meat products. This is in line with our growth at home strategy,” Emvula said.