The NNFU has commissioned the Poly Department to investigate the feasibility of improving the current livestock market system in Namibia to enable smallholders’ greater participation and profitability in the country’s meat market.
During a brief ceremony where the consultancy contract was signed, Salamo Mbai, Head of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences, said the feasibility study would be completed in five weeks. He said the study is important because agriculture- as a sectorand farmers, are indispensable to economic growth, rural development, employment creation and consequently poverty alleviation in Namibia.
“Within the value chain, minimal participation renders the smallholder farming sector almost helpless because farm practices are generally not sustainable to enable farmers to claim their rightful stake of the consumer dollar. Intervention on both sides of the farm gate is necessary to enhance profitability and sustainability through, for example, efficient agribusiness management, productivity enhancement and subsequent reduction in transaction costs,” Mbai said.
He described upstream value chain participation as a vital cog towards sustainable rural development because a large part of consumer funds will be spent in rural areas. The overall objective of the study is to improve current livestock marketing methods utilised by smallholder producers of beef weaners, goats and sheep in the areas of Namibia South of the Veterinary Cordon Fence.
Mushokabanji Mwilima, Acting Executive Director of the NNFU, said the Union commissioned a review of the livestock marketing system through the improvement or establishment of cooperative systems and livestock agro-business entity – an initiative that is earmarked for the growth and sustainable development of the small-scale domestic and export opportunities.