WINDHOEK - Namibia’s Dairy Producers Association (DPA) all still waits for the amendment of the law that would make it possible to control milk imports.
If approved and implemented by Parliament, it would result in restoring the 30-percent price reduction producers took over the past year. This cry for help rang out loudly last week during the DPA’s Annual General Meeting [AGM] outside Gobabis at Xain Quaz Guest House. Producers hoped that the amended law will soon be discussed and approved by Parliament. The milk processor, Namibia Dairies, assured producers that when this law is implemented, the hefty knock of a 30 percent reduction in price would be restored.
Agriculture Minister Alpheus !Naruseb promised in April to expedite as soon as possible, amendments to the Dairy Act to support the crippled local dairy sector. The minister stressed the importance of the Namibian dairy industry becoming less reliant on imports from South Africa when he made the promise to a delegation consisting of the chairman of the Dairy Producers Association, Kokkie Adriaanse, and senior staff members of Namibia Dairies. The country’s 16 dairy producers and the entire dairy industry are in dire straits. On February 23, a raw milk price reduction for Namibian producers of 10 cents per litre came into effect and a further 10 cents reduction by the end of April. This critical situation in the dairy industry can be ascribed mostly to the influx of UHT milk and closely related other dairy products into Namibia. Recently, imported UHT milk from SA was selling for cheaper than Namibian bottled water in some outlets.
Namibia Dairies Managing Director Gunther Ling told New Era that the price of milk and other dairy products like yoghurt is set to increase.
Chairperson of the DPA, Kokkie Adriaanse stressed that the entire industry has gone through another very difficult time last year. Namibia Dairies did everything in their power to make savings in-house in favour of milk producers and he thanked them for the transparent manner in which they deal with the matter and the good relationship between the processor, the management of the DPA and the producers. “However, through price reductions and restrictions to allow production to grow freely, producers are under pressure and these major challenges begs the question whether it is still worthwhile to continue in this industry,” he notes. Adriaanse concludes with an appeal to producers to stay positive and to seriously re-think costs on farms which there is control over. Producers will have to become much more involved in the entire industry if they want to carry on, he says.
Jompie Burger from the Dairy Standard Agency visited various dairy farms in the past two weeks prior to the AGM to assess food safety standards and gave feedback to the meeting on his findings during these visits. Alex Jenkins of Chemunique in South Africa gave a very motivating talk about herd management.
Feeding costs is the biggest culprit of the total production costs of dairy producers. According to the Namibia Agricultural Union [NAU]’s dairy producers cost index, the feeding costs increased with nearly 50 percent over the past few years and total production costs have increased with about 28 percent in the same period. In proportion to the shrinking of the profit margin of the producer, there was a resulting increase in the milk price for both the producer and consumer.
During the gala dinner the previous evening, Hellmut Kriess and Sherri Clark of DeLaval spoke about the cleaning routine of milking machines. During all the discussions, it was emphasised how important every aspect of the chain is in terms of food safety.
During the gala dinner the following dairy producers received awards:
Dairy Producers of the Year - intensive
- 1st place, Dirk van Wyk
- 2nd place, Hennie van Niekerk
- 3rd place, Christo Lottering
Dairy Producers of the Year – extensive - 1st place: Christo Strydom, 2nd place: !Aimab Superfarm, 3rd place: Willie Aggenbach
Lowest Bacterial Count: Dirk van Wyk;
Best Quality Milk Delivered: (Japie Engelbrecht exchange trophy) and Frikkie Duvenhage; Most Accurate Milk Production Forecast: Christo Lottering New Era Reporter
2018-07-24 09:50:26 | 2 years ago