29 Jan 2016 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 29 JAN (NAMPA) The animal vaccine production facility in Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region is a step closer to being realised, the Chief Veterinary Officer in the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), Milton Maseke says.
Maseke told Nampa on Friday the government is waiting on outstanding documents from the Chinese business, Jinyu Baoling Bio-Pharmaceutical Company, one of the Chinese partners for the proposed project.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) is waiting on a formal business proposal from the Chinese company, said Maseke.
A meeting between officials from MAWF, Jinyu Baoling Bio-Pharmaceutical Company and Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group took place on 02 August 2015 in Beijing, China to clinch the deal.
Jinyu will be the technical partner while Anhui will be responsible for the construction of the facility.
Namibia is one of six African countries in which Chinese companies are interested in investing in agricultural factories. The Namibian factory will cater for the manufacturing of vaccines for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), lung sickness and brucellosis.
The FMD vaccine manufacturing plant is expected to be constructed within the next three to five years to help reduce the millions of dollars spent annually on imported vaccines and pharmaceuticals. The plant is expected to attract investments in the livestock vaccine and pharmaceutical industry. It will consist of a research laboratory and vaccine production facility.
Maseke told Nampa in August last year Namibia intends to be self-sufficient in vaccine production and responses to outbreaks. The facility will lower the cost of vaccines and make the supply more reliable. It is expected to produce a range of effective vaccines for diseases ranging from FMD to anthrax as well as vaccines for the control of trans-boundary animal diseases. The proposed facility will be designed to the most advanced specifications available.
Currently, the Botswana Vaccine Institute services the whole Sub-Saharan Africa and carries out activities such as virus identification, production and testing of diagnostic reagents.
Meanwhile, Namibia has won the battle against a three-month-old outbreak of FMD in some parts of the northern communal areas (NCAs). The outbreak started in May and ended in July 2015. Government spent about N.dollars 180 million on the exercise.
The local meat industry is worth in excess of N.dollars 2.4 billion a year.