02 Apr 2014 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 02 APR (NAMPA) The Agriculture, Water and Forestry Ministry launched the Namibia Livestock Catalogue on Wednesday to educate Namibians about various livestock breeds in the country.
The 176-page catalogue is a synopsis of breeds and ecotypes found in Namibia, and can be used as a guideline in livestock production.
It can also assist aspiring livestock farmers to make informed decisions when selecting livestock breeds.
The table of contents of the catalogue include cattle, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa said some livestock breeds and ecotypes in Namibia are of economic and strategic importance, but are relatively unknown.
The diverse livestock genetic pool is Namibias heritage and should be conserved, developed and protected, not only for future markets, but for mitigating the effects of climate change as well.
Therefore, there is a dire need for Namibians to know what breeds do exist in their country so as to strategise their utilisation and protection, he stated.
The dry climatic conditions also contribute to Namibias ability to be one of the few countries in the world which produces healthy nutritious meat under a natural environment.
With an increase in the global demand for livestock and livestock products, the minister was thus optimistic that Namibia has a competitive edge over many livestock-producing countries.
Mutorwa explained that his ministry regarded it as absolutely necessary to summarise information about Namibias livestock breeds in a catalogue.
Apart from being a source of protein and income, livestock serves as a sign of wealth, and as collateral for credit.
It also offers opportunities not only to increase food security, but as a pathway out of poverty, he added.
Extension staff members, farmers, agricultural faculties at tertiary institutions, researchers and investors alike were then urged to utilise the catalogue.
The ministry printed 1 000 copies, which will be distributed free of charge to Government libraries, schools and various departments.
It was compiled by Pieter Hugo, Bertus Kruger, Dietlinde Mueller and Angelina Kanduvarisa from Agra Professional Services.