By Staff Reporter
Desmond van Jaarsveld, Managing Director of Namibia Dairies, ascribed the price hike of milk products in Namibia to the soaring cost of animal feed and the “towering” prices of diesel and petrol.
“Dairy farmers had to adjust their price structure to macro-economic conditions in order to survive,” Van Jaarsveld explained the hike that was introduced last year.
The hike, said Namibia Dairies and the Dairy Producers Association, is therefore a direct result of rising production costs experienced by the 17 farmers who hold 900 cows that deliver milk to Namibia Dairies.
“Generally, high food prices are a result of the global demand for wheat products and higher domestic interest rates.
The introduction, and increased use of bio-diesel, a vegetable oil-based fuel that runs in unmodified diesel engines, has also had an impact on the demand and supply of various foodstuffs,” Van Jaarsveld said.
Maize, wheat, rapeseed and soybeans are some of the foodstuffs used in the production of bio-diesel. Maize is fodder for cows.
“Currently a number of countries are prepared to pay higher prices for maize as a raw material for bio-diesel as opposed to food consumption, leading to a tremendous increase in demand and price,” he said.
Van Jaarsveld denied that Namibia Dairies has benefited from the price hike, saying that the direct benefit has gone to the dairy farmers.
“The increase aimed to strengthen the basis of our local milk farmers in view of creating a more independent local dairy industry.
“The same farmers are encouraged to increase production in order to meet local demand for real dairy,” Van Jaarsveld said.
Namibia Dairies, he said, meets the highest quality standards, with stringent quality control, freshness and on-time delivery being adhered to.
“Our products are real dairy,” he said, referring to the natural milk produced by free-range ??????’??