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Namibian agricultural industry calls for security provision

The Namibian agricultural industry is calling for security provision from the policies governing the sector.

That is in addition to having a value addition chain that is internationally competitive. The sector is also looking to enforce better development, while seeking growth opportunities that can make it successful in creating jobs.

President of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), Ryno van der Merwe, was speaking at the agricultural outlook conference 2018 that took place last week. He said that through seeking new opportunities, it would be the industry’s responsibility to contribute to the government efforts towards the alleviation of poverty.

Van der Merwe reiterated that the sector needs a favorable atmosphere to create jobs, as well as making sure there are willing investors in the farming industry. According to him, factors such as political stability, availability of natural resources and climate change highly influence the decision-making of producers or farmers. He further added that the sector also needs political stability and peace. On the factor of natural resources, he said it is under pressure because it is impossible to produce without natural resources. This, he pointed out, is due to climate change, poor management, droughts, over-utilization, among others.

According to media reports, the agri-export industry in 2017 sustained at least 31 000 permanent employees, with 150 000 dependents.

Also present at the conference was farmer and Standard Bank Namibia chief executive Vetumbuavi Mungunda.  Mr. Mungunda stressed the importance for all stakeholders in the sector to be aligned when changes to policies are being developed.

He also insisted that policies should be economically competitive and socially viable, without compromising the two objectives. Mungunda echoed the NAU’s observation that the sector’s contribution to GDP had declined drastically from over 7% to roughly 4.5% since independence. This, he says, depicts a decline in the sector’s productivity and production. PRess Release


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