By Wezi Tjaronda
Sheep producers and export abattoirs last week failed to reach a consensus over the amount of money that should be levied on sheep leaving Namibia on the hoof.
The levy is supposed to guide the export of small stock in the country.
Representatives of the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU), Namibia Abattoir Association and the Namibia National Farmers’ Union met in Windhoek to try and come up with an export levy after the Cabinet referred the proposed levy back to them.
The abattoirs insist on the 15 percent levy on live exports as per government decision in 2003, while producers want the levy to be N$19 per sheep. The N$19 levy was proposed by an independent study into the scheme last year.
The 15 percent export levy was supposed to come into force in November last year. But NAU last week said the parties had agreed on the imposition of a disincentive.
“The farmers want N$19 per sheep exported on the hoof. They feel this is the ideal amount to contribute but it will be up to the Government to find means of determining what the incentive should be,” said NAU executive manager, Sakkie Coetzee.
He said this money could be used to give incentives to producers who slaughter at export abattoirs. He said the parties would convey the outcome of the meeting to the three permanent secretaries of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Trade and Industry and Finance to take the result to the Cabinet.
When the producers and export abattoirs met to discuss the small stock marketing scheme with the accounting officers of the ministries last week, they were advised to make a fresh proposal on the marketing of small stock to the Government.
But due to differences between the parties at the meeting, the representatives of the producers and abattoirs were asked to try again to reach a consensus and present the Government with a joint viewpoint and recommendation.
A Namibia Agricultural Union statement after the Thursday meeting said producers and abattoirs reiterated their strong commitment to value addition of Namibian raw materials in particular meat produced in Namibia, however, producers felt that the value chain starts at the farms and as such farmers should also benefit in local value addition. The statement said the meeting agreed to the introduction of a local slaughtering incentive to farmers who slaughter their small stock at local export abattoirs.
“This mechanism would be financed by the imposition of an export disincentive levy on all sheep leaving Namibia on the hoof,” said the statement signed by NAU president, Raimar von Hase and Livestock Producers Organisation chairman, Ryno van der Merwe.
But the Abattoir Association said on Friday the parties agreed to certain principles during the meeting but no agreement was reached.
Chairperson of the Abattoir Association of Namibia Diana M??????’??