Game meat industry a catalyst for development

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Deputy Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Pieter van der Walt has assured the nation that important national initiatives such as the recently launched ‘Eat Wild Festival’ will continue to enjoy the support of the government.

The very first ‘Eat Wild Festival’ was launched in the capital this week, and is aimed at promoting the use and benefits of free range, organic Namibian game meat and game meat products amongst Namibians and international visitors in a fresh and modern way.

“Under the leadership of our President, Dr Hage Geingob, we as a Swapo-led government will continue in our endeavours to support these types of initiatives in order to create more jobs for Namibians so as to alleviate poverty, fight corruption and add value to our own products. As our president has said, no one should be left out,” Van der Walt said.

The Eat Wild Festival showcases Namibia’s game meat as a delicacy as well as an everyday staple and encourages restaurants to add new game meat dishes to their menu, thereby creating an additional market for game meat farmers.
Namibia’s Industrial Policy was adopted in 2012 and its implementation strategy, ‘Growth at Home’ was developed in 2014. Van der Walt outlined that the strategy emphasises the importance of commodity-based industrialization by strengthening local and national value chains and creating more efficient linkages within the economy.

“Namibia is indeed endowed with significant human and natural resources, and it is a great concern for our country that so many of these natural resources are exported before any value has been added in Namibia. This means that as a country we lose out on job opportunities which are instrumental in our fight against poverty and inequalities,” he added.

The Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development aims to, amongst others, develop value chains based on raw materials available in Namibia. Ten strategic industries were identified for a more specific focus on its economic development, including wildlife products in general and game meat products in particular.

Key stakeholders from the business community and public administration who have a vested interest in the Namibian industry engaged in extensive consultations and substantially contributed to the draft of a Growth Strategy for Namibia’s Game Meat Industry and Associated Value Chains.

This specific Growth Strategy aims at improving the business framework conditions for the Game Meat industry and eventually improve its competitiveness.

As part of the ‘Eat Wild Festival’, various restaurants within Windhoek will be serving various game meat dishes during the course of this week as part of the festival, and an Eat Wild Market is scheduled for today at The Village.

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