Staff Reporter

WINDHOEK – The Namibian meat industry has been shrinking for the past 25 years from being a more than 80 percent contributor to the total agricultural sector, to just a 56 percent contributor last year.

This is due to diversification in the Namibian agricultural sector. Despite this trend, the livestock industry remains the sector with the biggest impact on the rural economy. Statistics from the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU), point to cattle creating the biggest income last year, with N$3.4 billion, compared to N$2.0 billion in 2016. The big surprise is that poultry was the second biggest with N$850 million (N$535 million in 2016), while sheep earnings came in third with N$705 million, compared to N$578 million in 2016.

Grape exports earned Namibia N$818 million, compared to N$770 million in 2016 while trophy hunting remained consistent with earnings of N$540 million on both 2016 and last year. Agronomy is another sector that showed tremendous growth with total earnings of N$408 million, compared to N$267 million in the previous year. Goat sales showed slight growth by increasing income from N$109.5 million in 2016 to N$130.6 million last year. Income from dairy dropped slightly from N$142.7 million to N$141.8 million last year. Earnings from pigs increased from N$114 million in 2016 to N$124 million in 2017 while fresh produce also showed good growth with income jumping from N$150 million to N$210 million between 2016 and 2017.

Earnings from charcoal was another sector that showed growth with income totaling N$184 million last year, compared to N$168 million in 2016.

The total Namibian agricultural production value jumped from N$5.4 billion in 2016 to N$7.5 billion in 2017.