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Local farmers account for 13% of country’s wheat…more capacity needed

2023-12-05  Otniel Hembapu

Local farmers account for 13% of country’s wheat…more capacity needed

The 2022/23 production and trade statistics from the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB) show that the total domestic demand for wheat grain in Namibia stands at 144, 939 tonnes per annum, which translates into an average domestic demand of 12,078 tonnes per month. 

Out of the total domestic demand recorded during the period under review, 13% or 18,498 tonnes of wheat were locally-produced, while 126,441 or about 87% tonnes were imported from other countries. 

The biggest volumes of the wheat grain are produced in the Hardap and Kavango regions, the central and Karstland zones, and delivered to milling facilities in Windhoek and in the south zones.    

The marketing of locally-produced wheat grain is managed through the Wheat Marketing Mechanisms Agreement signed by organised producers and

The marketing of wheat grains officially starts from 1 November to 31 January every other year. 

There is no close or open border period for wheat, but allocations are made to millers to ensure that locally-produced grain is marketed.   

Statistics also project that during the upcoming wheat grain marketing season, a total of 29,871 tonnes of wheat is expected to be harvested from 4,254 ha in the aforementioned four production zones (south, central, Karstland, and the two Kavangos).  

It is estimated that there will be an increase in wheat production of 29,871 tonnes, the highest-ever recorded in Namibia for a consecutive year. Although the volumes are still low in comparison to the annual domestic wheat demand, positive growth shown is plausible. 

The expected wheat production volumes will be able to cover 21% of the total domestic demand (144, 939 tonnes). Approximately 79% or 115,068 tonnes of the wheat grain is expected to be imported by millers to meet the annual domestic demand.   

The increase in the expected tonnage of wheat is attributed to the increase in the number of hectares planted, and by the increased number of farmers in both the Karst and central production zones who planted wheat this year.  

Moreover, expected good rainfalls may have provided more water for irrigation, especially in the southern production zone, and more volumes will be expected as

Wheat is cultivated in winter, and is only produced under the irrigation production system in Namibia. Planting of wheat in Namibia starts in May/June/July, and is harvested and marketed from October to January every year. 

2023-12-05  Otniel Hembapu

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