WINDHOEK – A dramatic decline of 32 percent in the production value of Swakara and an even more dramatic increase of 66 percent in the production value of charcoal are some of the most prominent indicators of the state of Namibian agriculture in 2018, a study by the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) reveals.
Mixed results are testimony to some agricultural sectors finding the going tough last year and with the rainy season now coming to an end, some sectors are expected to decline further this year in the face of another drought. The income value (year-on-year) of the pig industry dropped by 6.2 percent due to decreased marketing, whereas that of goats decreased by 1.5 percent because of a decrease in the producer price. The Swakara industry experienced a whopping decline in production value of about 32 percent i.e. income value decreased from N$45.5 million in 2017 to N$30.7 million in 2018 as a consequence of a decrease in price and quantity marketed.
The agronomic and grape industries did not do well either as income value reduced by 21.7 percent and 17.8 percent respectively. Despite all the challenges faced by the agriculture sector, some industries had a positive income value. Cattle, sheep, and poultry had an estimated increased income value of 4.3 percent, 9.1 percent, and 6.8 percent respectively. The positive value on cattle is attributable to a slight increase in weaner and slaughter prices in the 4th quarter of 2018, and that on sheep is due to an increase in live export marketing and better producer prices. The poultry industry saw a few more SME poultry producers entering the sector making a significant contribution to the sector. The dairy industry is highly dependent on feed to increase milk production, and for 2018 feed cost increased by 72.9 percent, and on top of that producers had two price cuts, which made dairy producers more vulnerable. However, before the end of 2018, dairy producers received a ten cents per litre increase, causing the income value to increase by 0.8 percent. This shows how much of a positive difference a small increase can have on dairy producers’ income.
New Era Reporter
2019-03-26 09:27:47 24 days ago