NIP ploughs N$250 million into NCA to improve livestock value chain

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Agriculture is to be the beneficiary of some N$250 million from the N$900 million Namibia will receive from the European Union (EU) according to the freshly-signed National Indicative Programme (NIP). The agriculture sector will receive this amount over the next five years and the focus of the programme will be on the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs).
When signing the agreement, Minister in the Presidency in charge of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Tom Alweendo, and the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Namibia, Ambassador Raúl Fuentes Milani, made it clear that there is substantial attention to strengthening the engagement of Namibians in the formal economy. “This programme must allow Namibians to grasp or even create opportunities for themselves and their families,” Milani noted.
NIP includes indicative financial resources amounting to N$900 million which the EU will make available to Namibia for the period 2015-2020.  The NIP will focus on two focal sectors, Education and Skills and Agriculture.
As for agriculture, the focus will be on strengthening the livestock value chain in the NCAs. “By gradually adapting to a more commercial orient approach of cattle producers, it is believed that more wealth and employment will be generated, not only for farmers and their communities, but also by creating jobs for others in the value chain like input providers, Milani says.
It is also expected that the programme will support better rangeland management through tacking overstocking. “To this effect, investments are foreseen to improve the veterinary status, work on development of markets and market knowledge of produces, assist communities with small scale infrastructure to promote commercial cattle production and stimulate entrepreneurship[p of rural value chains,” he stresses. Milani adds that the objective is to improve wealth created from the natural resource based sectors in a sustainable way to address issues of poverty and unemployment and explore possible transition to a “green economy”. Funding has also been set aside to support the capacity of civil society organisations to engage as effective partners.
The programming exercise for the NIP has been guided by Namibia’s 4th National Development Plan (NDP4) and the EU Agenda for Change. Namibia’s NDP4 focuses on areas with a direct link to economic growth, employment creation and income equality as a strategy for addressing poverty and unemployment.  On this basis the EU and Member States with a presence in Namibia, in consultation with the Namibian government and its Civil Society Organisations prepared a “Joint EU Response Strategy for Namibia” that was adopted in November 2013.  The selection of sectors in this NIP has been guided by this Joint EU Response Strategy.
“We want to support Namibia’s development as the Namibian government sees it and align our resources along Namibia’s development priorities”, says Milani.  Alweendo said: “We are pleased with the fact that the EU response strategy and NIP is in line with government’s priorities and that the agreement we are signing today supplements Government’s development efforts”.
Milani noted that, due to the maturity of Namibia in heading its own development, the EU saw no need to write a separate country strategy as was done in the past in other countries. Alweendo stressed the importance of growing the Namibian economy with approriate skills and congratulated the EU for making money available for two key areas where skilles are needed most for future development.

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