WINDHOEK – Namibia’s pork producers are looking for ways to stem the growing cheap pork imports into the Namibian market.
Pork meat is imported from South Africa and elsewhere.
According to pig producers, the pork meat is sold at prices far below the production cost per kilogramme for local producers, thus squeezing them out of the market.
On July 12 the Pig Producers Association (PPA) requested a meeting with the Meat Board of Namibia to discuss the situation, which included pig producers, processors and abattoirs.
During the meeting the Meat Board gave an overview of the industry and each role player sketched the facts regarding their own operations and the market situation.
At the end of the meeting the role players reached consensus on the importance of the industry to Namibia and the fact that it needs to be supported.
“As in the past, it might happen that imports of other countries will be discontinued, because of sicknesses or shortages. Then the processers will be dependent on local producers,” according to the latest Namibia Agricultural Union news bulletin.
The Meat Board will take the leading role to normalise the current situation, by collecting information from all role players regarding current stocks to map the way forward.
The proposal was that all importers of meat will have to re-register with the Meat Board, which will ensure that they also buy local meat products. Failure to comply may lead to the introduction of protection measures. Local pig producers intend to have at least 60 percent of locally produced pork on the Namibian market at the earliest time possible. Last year, only about 23 to 25 percent of all pig products were locally sourced, while the rest was imported, mostly from South Africa.
The pig industry is currently in a phase of expansion and large investments were made in pig farms as well as abattoirs in the past few years.
One such investment is the recently opened pig farm near Outjo in the Kunene Region, which is expected to boost the industry significantly.
The William Bosch Pig Farm will be one of the biggest and the most modern pig farms in Southern Africa, according to industry pundits.
The farm employs the latest available technologies, not even used on South African pig farms yet, they claim.
The William Bosch Pig Farm has also started building an abattoir that will cater for farmers, especially those in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs). There are about 600 pig producers in the country, while more than 500 of them are small-scale producers.
Pig producers can be found all over the country, but mostly in areas where there are plantations such as maize from where pigs can be fed. None of the pork produced in Namibia is exported.