Windhoek-The Namibian dairy industry – which was teetering on the brink of collapse at the end of 2015 – battled through another tough year in 2016 when drought conditions caused large-scale losses and resulted in tremendous increases in feeding costs.
The battered and bruised industry survived and tomorrow the Dairy Producers Association (DPA) will host the annual gala dinner and members’ meeting at Xain Quaz Rest Camp outside Gobabis where the current status of the industry will be revealed. Various awards will be handed to members who produced excellent quality milk.
The members’ meeting takes place on Thursday morning with the theme, “Bio-security as measure for good quality in the dairy industry.”
The main speaker is Jompie Burger of Dairy Standards SA. Anton Faul from the Agricultural Trade Forum (ATF) will address members on the dairy industry in a global context.
Feeding costs remain the biggest factor in the total production costs of dairy producers.
According to the NAU’s dairy producers cost index, feeding costs increased by nearly 50 percent in 2015 and total production costs increased 28 percent over the same period.
South African competition is a big risk for the local industry and thus the protection needed by the industry is still being enforced by the authority and the industry.
Internationally there is still a surplus of milk produced, especially in Europe, which uses the African market as an outlet. This causes additional competition and increases the pressure on local producers and processors even further.
Namibia Dairies (ND) and the DPA agreed that if the sector collapses it would have dire consequences for about 1,000 people directly employed in the industry, as well as for those involved in the sector indirectly, such as transporters and suppliers, besides farmers and their employees.
The industry is not able to compete with cheap imports flooding the market and the fact that these imports are often sold in Namibia at the same prices or lower than in their market of origin.