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New Era Newspaper Tuesday March 6, 2018

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12 ADVERT Tuesday, March 6 2018 | NEW ERA REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA MINISTRY OF GENDER EQUALITY & CHILD WELFARE PUBLIC INVITATION TO THE COMMEMORATION OF THE NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN Objectives Targeting all men and women, girls and boys in Namibia. The objectives of this commemoration is to: For more information please contact Mr. Victor Shipoh on 061283 3205/4 Issued by: Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Email:

Tuesday, March 6 2018 | NEW ERA 13 FARMERS FORUM Your weekly Agricultural Corner Poultry producers meet The Poultry Producers Association (PPA) hosts its annual members’ meeting as well as an information session for current and upcoming poultry/egg producers on March 15 at the boardroom of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) in Windhoek. The information session will, among others, look at the steps taken by the industry to become independent. Speakers include Dr Sean Wisdom from C4 Hannes Koekemoer from Feedmaster on SME Development and James Roux, a local egg producer on reaching independency. This day would not be possible without partner Feedmaster. There are limited seats and a strict NO BOOKING - NO SEAT policy will be before March 13, 2018 Small stock industry at a crossroads Staff Reporter Windhoek The Namibian small stock industry is at a crossroads. Two urgent meetings just industry urgently needs a vision for the future and that unity is the keyword in achieving the ultimate aims of the industry. Last week, the Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) rallied small-stock producers in Keetmanshoop for a brainstorm- vision for the small stock industry, while the Namibian Boer Goat Breeders Society (NBGBS) is gathering in Windhoek today to discuss the importance of an umbrella organisation for goat breeders after the Windhoek Goat Club was recently formed when members broke away from the NBGBS. Issues of concern vices such as inspection, training courses, promotion days, stud and commercial auctions, exhibitions and national championships. Declining…Small stock in Namibia, which have been declining, is in danger of losing all momentum if a watchdog is not employed . Photo: Contributed Registration and generic evaluation services must be delivered by means of Breedplan, which is one of the world’s most advanced genetic evaluation systems. In Keetmanshoop, grave concern was expressed about the lack of correct and reliable marketing this issue. An even bigger issue is the steady decline in small stock production, and the discussions that followed topped the agenda. Although it seems that the small stock industry has been in a more favourable position than the - stock production has decreased drastically. An increase in venereal diseases of rams, predator numbers, and theft, and the longterm drought situation are among the reasons for the decline. There is also a tendency to change from small stock production to cattle and game production. Producers, in general, have lost trust in the industry and this has negatively affected investments. Management practices were also looked at as well as the age group of the majority of the producers, which has resulted in reduced investments, especially in infrastructure. The marketing environment has had an impact on the production environment and interference in this sector together with issues such as land reform had created frustration and uncertainty. Small stock representatives at the meeting were, however, of the opinion that production could pick up again and there must be an investigation on how to change the methods to realise an open border, while still operating within government policies. The day resulted in positive suggestions that would receive serious attention in the following weeks. Role players in the industry say it is of the utmost importance that unity is achieved in the goat industry and that the common vision should be to serve all goat breeders in Namibia and ensure that their animals’ meat will soon get the recognition it deserves and be for sale in local supermarkets. reconciliation meeting still pending Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro Windhoek The Namibia National Farmers particularly from the regions of Omaheke and Otjozondjupa, are yet to meet to solve pertinent issues that have been souring relations between the umbrella body and some of its of the union’s congress last year, which elected a new leadership under president Jason Emvula. But have been maintaining that the new leadership does not represent their interests as red meat producers. As a result of these strained relations between the union and some of its af- Farmers Union (OCFU) boycotted a stakeholders’ meeting in Okakarara last month while a similar meeting that was scheduled for the Omaheke Region in Gobabis last week, was also postponed. a litany of issues with NNFU that is yet not provide a platform for them to reach common understanding on the said issues. To add insult to injury, NNFU has been implicated in rumoured discussions, as the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) apparently lobbies the government to ban the export of weaners to South Africa. Such export has been an important lifeline to local producers with the depressed prices on the home front because of the auctioneering syndicates, which have been a monopolised buying cartel suppressing the prices at will because on one particular permit there is only one buyer. In this regard, farmers have been presented with a sell-or-starve situation. Thus the latest rumours about NNFU and Meatco contemplating a ban on live exports to South Africa has not done much to improve the strained relations between NNFU and its This situation led to the two af- Regional Farmers Union (ORFU) meeting in Sandveld, a day after the Okakarara agricultural stakeholders meeting. Chairperson of ORFU, Stanley Kauandra, has not been available yet for feedback on the outcome of this meeting at Sandveld in the Kalahari constituency of the Omaheke Region. But, meantime, the NNFU has acknowledged communication, especially to ORFU requesting to meet its leadership to discuss pertinent issues. “I would also want to suggest to meet with your leadership so that if there are any issues that are within the mandate of NNFU, which we can collectively resolve should be attended to soonest. Please advise me on the suitable date. I would kindly propose to meet with your leadership in Gobabis,” reads the letter from the NNFU president to ORFU chairperson on February 15. In the same letter, despite the initial dissatisfaction by ORFU following the NNFU congress last year, the NNFU president noted happily matter and has subsequently paid its membership to the union, which it did on February 12. “Fellow farmers, the agricultural sector, more than ever before, is facing challenges that require teamwork and a united voice, a voice that should contribute effectively in informing policy formulation, adaptation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. It is vital that as united farmers our collective inputs in driving the agricultural sector to greater height is paramount,” pleaded the NNFU president in the letter to ORFU. Market prices for cattle skyrocket Staff Reporter Windhoek Drought fears of have sent auction prices for livestock through the roof, as desperate farmers scramble to sell valuable assets in anticipation of a long and tough winter period ahead. Now is a good time to sell livestock while auction prices are exceptionally high with the Agra auction fetching the highest price of N.86 per kg for castrated calves in January. Titus Koen, Agra’s general manager: Auctions, says future trends in auction prices are dif- “Livestock producers, who have cattle that are ready to market, should preferably sell them as soon as possible to make use of the good prices. We have no certainty as to how long the prices will remain this strong,” he advises. Despite high prices for weaners for almost a year, what can happen in the near future in the market cannot be forecast. “Agra often tries to speculate what could happen in the coming year, just to realise that it is virtually impossible to predict price trends on auctions,” says Koen. He adds that the main reasons why weaner prices have risen sharply are due to a shortage of cattle in South Africa due to recent droughts, as well as the lower maize price, which holds a sig- “The other reason is that South Africa, previously a net importer of meat, has now become a net exporter of meat after the country successfully marketed its meat overseas. The largest part of Namibian weaners are currently being exported to South African feedlots,” says Koen. Maize, or feed, is the main expenditure of a feedlot. The maize price dropped below N,000 a tonne after South Africa produced a record maize yield last year. The local price for weaners is strongly linked to the South-African maize price. If it remains stable, chances are that the weaning calf price will remain stable. However, if expensive, the weaning price will in weaner prices in the industry was predicted, but this sharp rise during the previous expected. “Following discussions between Agra and South African feedlots middle last year, a consensus was reached that the high auction prices would not stay at these levels for a long time. However, the contrary was the case when prices increased even more. So far, these high prices have been maintained,” says Koen.

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167