• July 21st, 2019
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Food imports remain sky-high

WINDHOEK - During the 2017/18 financial year Namibia imported an astronomical 96 percent of its fruits, 96 percent of wheat, 60 percent of pearl millet and 40 percent of white maize from foreign countries. 

This was revealed by Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Permanent Secretary Percy Misika, during the opening of the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) Strategic Planning stakeholders’ meeting in Windhoek yesterday.
Misika told participants that Namibia imports 96 percent of its total demand for fresh fruit while only four percent is produced locally.

At the same meeting Misika emphasised that these enormous import figures present the country with an opportunity to develop a strategy to grow the fruit sub-sector in order to realise its potential.  Furthermore, he said in terms of the agronomic crops, Namibia during the same period produced 4 percent of its wheat consumption while 96 percent were imported from foreign countries.

Also, he said during the said period the country also produced 2 344 tons (40 percent) of pearl millet while 5 813 tons were imported.

Likewise, Misika said Namibia produced 76 660 tons (60 percent) of white maize whereas 50 483 tons were imported.
In terms of horticulture, Misika said 25 599 tons were locally produced, meaning 35 percent of the country’s total consumption was locally produced in the said financial year.

He said 80 percent of exports is table grapes while the remaining 20 percent is mainly dates. 
Misika said the NAB is mandated to promote the agronomic industry and facilitate production, processing, storage and marketing of controlled products. “In order to ensure that as the NAB, we live according to the established objectives, a guiding framework is required to facilitate the implementation of the functions and reasons why the institution is existing,” Misika said.  Misika reminded workshop participants to remember the country’s aspirations which according to him is to see agronomy and horticulture development driven by both scientific and market research.

He said this will enable the country’s journey in tackling challenges with solutions that will improve the way things are done in order to reach the country’s target easily.

“Therefore, we are planning to see how we can improve the situation we are finding ourselves in as a net importer so that we can be self-sufficient,” he said, adding that this will be achieved by engaging in production, processing, storage and marketing in a sustainable manner to ensure food security. Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Namibia’s exported goods plus services represent 41.7 percent of total Namibian economic output or gross domestic product.

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2018-11-13 09:20:24 8 months ago

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