A healthy productive primary agricultural sector in Namibia creates rural jobs and improved livelihoods, curbs rural to urban migration and multiplies job opportunities in the rest of the value chain.
Making this statement, president of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), Ryno van der Merwe last Friday thanked government for the willingness to actively engage the private sector during last week's Economic Growth Summit.
Van der Merwe however warned that the opposite is also true: "When the primary agricultural production is destroyed, the total value chain, including input supply, processing and marketing, disintegrates."
He pointed out that the charcoal industry is a growing industry and the decision to allow production of charcoal in communal areas is welcomed to provide opportunities for all producers to earn an additional income during these disastrous drought conditions.
"The creation of real public-private-partnerships is a sustainable way to reduce government's liability in non-performing state-owned enterprises. This will reduce the risk and avail much needed capital to efficiently operate such projects."
"We firmly believe that we need to find a sustainable solution in the interest of Namibia as a whole in collaboration with government and other stakeholders. Although Cabinet directed that producers should not be disadvantaged to slaughter sheep in Namibia, this never materialised and welcome the decision to suspend the export scheme," he observed.