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Agriculture records mixed 2018 growth results

By: Kelvin Chiringa

Latest data on the country’s agriculture sector’s performance for 2018 shows mixed results of growth and decline.

Information provided by the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) has it that some agriculture sectors did not have a great 2018 as production declined and a drop of producer prices affected their income value.

The income value of the pig industry dropped by 6.2% Year-on-Year due to decreased marketing, whereas that of goats decreased by 1.5% Year-on-Year because of a decrease in producer price.

The Swakara industry experienced a whopping decline in production value of about 32% Year-on-Year, i.e. income value decreased from N$45.5 million in 2017 to N$30.7 million in 2018, as a consequence of a decrease in price and quantity marketed.

The agronomic and grapes industries did not do well either, as income value reduced by -21.7% Year-on-Year and -17.8% Year-on-Year, respectively.

Despite all the challenges faced by the agriculture sector, some industries had a positive income value. Cattle, sheep, and poultry had an estimated income value of 4.3% Year-on-Year, 9.1% Year-on-Year, and 6.8% Year-on-Year, respectively.

The positive value on cattle is attributable to a slight increase in weaner and slaughter prices in the 4th quarter of 2018, and that on sheep is due to an increase in live export marketing and better producer prices.

The poultry industry saw a few more SME poultry producers entering the sector making a significant contribution to the sector.

The dairy industry is highly dependent on feed to increase milk production, and for 2018 feed cost increased by 72.9% Year-on-Year, and on top of that producers had 2 price cuts, which made dairy producers more vulnerable.

However, before the end of 2018 dairy producers received a 10-cent increase, causing the income value to increase by 0.8%. This shows how much of a positive difference a 10-cent increase can have on dairy producers’ income.

The charcoal industry performed really well in 2018 with the income value increasing from N$184.8 million in 2017 to N$306.7 million in 2018, i.e. it increased by a massive 66% Year-on-Year, and this was mainly due to increased production and producer prices received.

In the meantime, the member meeting of the Agronomic Producers Association (APA) as well as the master agronomist day will take place on 17 April 2019 at the Schützenverein (Shooting Club) outside Tsumeb.

The members’ meeting starts at 08:30 and the master agronomist day will start after lunch. The day will mainly deal with more effective management of crops, with the emphasis on maize farming.

Speakers are Jaun van Loggerenberg from GeoSpace, Erwin Schimper from Aqualand and as well as Willem Smit from Netafim on effective water consumption.

As usual, the day is concluded with a farm visit at Ludwigshaven of Hansie van der Merwe, the master agronomist of 2019. There will be a braai the evening at the Schützenverein.

The Poultry Producers ‘Association (PPA) also holds its members’ meeting and an information day at the Hall of the Dutch Reformed Church in Diaz Street Suiderhof on March 20.

The members meeting starts at 08:30 and the information session will start shortly after 10:00.

The main speaker of the day, Dr Frank Travers of AVIMUNE will address poultry diseases, vaccination programs and biosecurity, with special emphasis on bird flu and ILT.

Other speakers are Dr. Klingelhoeffer about the importance of vaccination programs as well as a quick overview of NPI on industry support and Feedmaster about their new diagnostic laboratory that opened in April 2018.

Kelvin Chiringa

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