Access to markets contributes positively to economic growth in agriculture and the improvement of living standards of the country's citizens.
This was said by Sophy Kasheeta, agriculture deputy permanent secretary when she addressed a 20-strong delegation from the Chinese Meat Association who recently visited the Meat Board of Namibia and Meatco to familiarise themselves with the Namibian meat industry.
According to a recent news flash from the Meat Board, the visit is in line with efforts by Namibia to get access to the Chinese beef market.
The current signed protocol between China and Namibia states that no beef may be exported within 12 months in case of an outbreak of lumpy skin disease.
Discussions between the agriculture minister, John Mutorwa, and the Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, led to an undertaking to revise the protocol and specifically the stipulation on lumpy skin disease.
The industry further requested that the export of bone-in beef and mutton, as well as offal and processed meat products from the NCA be added to the protocol.
The Chinese delegation was led by Li Shuilong, president of the China Meat Association and vice-president of the International Meat Secretariat of which the Meat Board of Namibia is also a member.
China imports 6,5 million tonnes of beef, 250 000 tonnes mutton, 2,3 million tonnes of pork and 1,7 million tonnes of chicken and it is an important market for Namibian meat products.