Cabinet introduces interim relief for small stock producers

30 Jul 2013 12:20
WINDHOEK, 30 JUL (NAMPA) – Cabinet on Tuesday made the decision to introduce interim relief for small stock producers during what is said to be the worst drought to hit Namibia in 30 years.
Making the announcement here on Tuesday, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein said Cabinet has approved that the existing restriction of 6:1 local slaughter/export ratio be amended to a 1:1 local slaughter/export ratio for a 90-day period, which commences on 15 August this year, and which is to be effected by the Meat Board of Namibia.
According to Schlettwein, this was decided on after extensive consultations were held in co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the Meat Board, and various bodies representing producers and processors. Various written submissions were also received on the matter.
“All the mentioned parties were informed during a meeting on 15 July 2013 that the government, in view of the current drought, is contemplating a temporary relaxation of current export restrictions equivalent to the lifting of an export levy on live cattle exports recently approved by Cabinet,” he said.
The Trade and Industry Minister added that the affected parties were further informed that on a separate track, Government wishes to have a resolution on the longer term use of export restrictions and related measures in support of value chain development
“A further two months would be granted for proposals to a technical committee representing all stakeholders established for the purpose. Relaxing export restrictions would assist producers to increase the marketing of small stock while animals are in a reasonable condition,” he explained.
Cabinet therefore decided on the proposal to establish revised export restrictions for small stock in support of drought relief while still maintaining support for processing.
Also approved by Cabinet is the cancellation of the 15 per cent levy on the export of pickled sheep skin, which will be effective from a date yet to be announced by the Ministry of Finance.
This is however to be done on condition that any tannery or processor in Namibia interested in processing such skin beyond the pickled stage first be offered the opportunity to purchase the pickled sheep skin at a price verified by the Meat Board of Namibia to be commensurate with domestic marketing.
In addition to the N.dollars 70 approved by Cabinet as incentive payment for the marketing of small stock during the drought as of 01 March 2013, Cabinet also approved that further incentive payments be made through resources allocated for drought relief from 01 August 2013 until 31 October 2013.
Such payments will be done in line with procedures such as the payment of N.dollars 30 per head to producers for all sheep sold to a domestic abattoir for slaughtering and processing, subject to verification by the Meat Board.
An additional N.dollars 20 per head payment will be paid to producers for all fat tail sheep types sold to a domestic abattoir for slaughtering and processing to assist mainly communal fat tail sheep producers, which is also subject to verification by the Meat Board.
Cabinet further decided that no penalty per head or per kilogramme may be charged by any abattoir for the slaughtering of any fat tail sheep types.
Schlettwein indicated that all exports of raw skins or pickled skins will be done in containers sealed and verified by the Meat Board in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, and Ministry of Finance under its customs division. This however excludes Swakara pelts exported via air under existing control measures.