08 Oct 2014 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 08 OCT (NAMPA) - Namibia has reached an agreement with the Russian Federation to export beef thereto, Trade and Industry Minister Calle Schlettwein says.
He made the announcement during the opening of the Agricultural Outlook Conference 2014 here on Wednesday.
Not only have we just gone through a highly-intensive and at times extremely worrying negotiation for market access to the European Union (EU), but we have reached agreement with the Russian Federation concerning exports of beef; China concerning beef and fish; and we are continuing to pursue access into the United States of America (USA) for all red meat products, in addition to the fish and table grapes which can already be exported there, as well as other potential markets, explained the minister.
Schlettwein assured local farmers that Government is not forgetting the major market on its doorstep Africa.
Considerable progress has already been made in the free trade area (FTA) negotiations amongst 26 African States. It remains an important objective to diversify market access, he noted.
Schlettwein then commended the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) for the initiatives taken to significantly increase its feedlot capacity.
More weaners can now be grown to slaughter-ready animals set to enter the local value-chain.
Meanwhile, the Trade Ministry is in the process of developing Namibias industrial policy and implementation strategy framework, which will provide more details on the ministrys strategies, programmes and action plans, targets and projects.
Implementation will be pursued over the medium-term.
We aim to develop value-chains which are based on raw materials available in Namibia. We have also included the concept of regional value-chains through which we could accelerate regional economic integration.
We need to link producers of raw materials to those who can further process such materials, and if there is no one ready to perform this role, Government may need to initiate and incubate the process, he added.